Indoor dining FINALLY reopens at 25 percent capacity in NYC and Cuomo extends opening hours


Indoor dining has resumed in New York City, almost two months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended the practice amid a second wave of COVID-19 cases. 

On Friday, relieved restaurant owners were finally able to let patrons back inside for the first time since December 13 – albeit at a reduced capacity. 

Restaurants are currently able to fill just 25 percent of their indoor space – with many saying they will still not survive with three-quarters of their tables staying empty. 

Some are pushing Gov. Cuomo to allow eateries to operate at a 50 percent capacity – an idea he says he is open to as long as the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline. 

New York City is still recording thousands of new COVID-19 cases per day, but numbers are dropping slightly following a post-holiday surge.

On Friday, the seven-day average COVID positivity rate for the Big Apple was at 7.9 percent. Deaths and hospitalizations remain far lower than they were during the spring of 2020, during which time the city was the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Gov. Cuomo was initially poised to reopening indoor dining on February 14, but decided to bring the date two days forward. 

As of Sunday, restaurants will also be able to operate for an additional hour – with a closing time of 11 pm, as opposed to current mandated time of 10pm.  

I’ll have what she’s having! Indoor dining has resumed in New York City, almost two months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended the practice amid a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Happy diners are seen inside Katz’s Delicatessen in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, famous for being a location in the 1989 romcom When Harry Met Sally 

A group of gal pals are pictured catching up for lunch inside of Dante in Manhattan on Friday

A group of gal pals are pictured catching up for lunch inside of Dante in Manhattan on Friday

Restaurants are currently able to fill just 25 percent of their indoor space - with many saying they will still not survive with three-quarters of their tables staying empty. Dante in Manhattan is pictured

Restaurants are currently able to fill just 25 percent of their indoor space – with many saying they will still not survive with three-quarters of their tables staying empty. Dante in Manhattan is pictured 

Cheers to that! Eager New Yorkers were pictured happily heading inside for a drink after months of being left out on snow covered sidewalks

Cheers to that! Eager New Yorkers were pictured happily heading inside for a drink after months of being left out on snow covered sidewalks 

Patrons were still separated by plastic screens inside Cafe Reggio in Manhattan's Greenwich Village on Friday

Patrons were still separated by plastic screens inside Cafe Reggio in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village on Friday 

On Friday, eager New Yorkers were pictured happily heading inside restaurants, despite the CDC stating that indoor dining brings about an increased risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. 

Locals were eager to enjoy the warmth of eateries after months of eating on snow covered sidewalks in below freezing temperatures. 

On Friday, restaurateurs told local news networks that they hope they will never have to close indoor dining again. 

 ‘We hope this is the ultimate, here to stay now, light at the end of the tunnel, vaccine’s here, numbers are going down,’ one operations director of a Manhattan steakhouse told CBS2. 

‘If this happens again, devastation will be complete. It’s so hard to pay the bills with only outdoor seating.’

Last week, the NYC Hospitality Alliance welcomed Cuomo’s decision to reopen indoor dining two days early in order for eateries to maximize business over Valentine’s Day weekend. 

‘We commend Governor Cuomo for permitting indoor dining to resume in New York City on Friday, instead of Sunday the originally scheduled date.

‘This will allow restaurants to generate much needed revenue from the Valentine’s Day weekend business, much of which they would have lost because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce also welcomed the news.

‘Brooklyn restaurants and industry workers are surviving by a thread, and with COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations declining across the city, we’re supporting Governor Cuomo’s decision to move up the safe reopening of highly regulated, 25% occupancy indoor dining to Friday before Valentine’s Day.

‘Many Brooklynites will now be able to celebrate the holiday at a restaurant earlier in the weekend, providing a few days’ head start for struggling small businesses and workers to earn a little more money to support themselves and their families,’ Randy Peers, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO told DailyMail.com.

Last week, the NYC Hospitality Alliance welcomed Cuomo's decision to reopen indoor dining two days early in order for eateries to maximize business over Valentine's Day weekend

Last week, the NYC Hospitality Alliance welcomed Cuomo’s decision to reopen indoor dining two days early in order for eateries to maximize business over Valentine’s Day weekend

Gov. Cuomo was initially poised to reopening indoor dining on February 14, but decided to bring the date two days forward. As of Sunday, restaurants will also be able to operate for an additional hour - with a closing time of 11 pm, as opposed to current mandated time of 10pm

Gov. Cuomo was initially poised to reopening indoor dining on February 14, but decided to bring the date two days forward. As of Sunday, restaurants will also be able to operate for an additional hour – with a closing time of 11 pm, as opposed to current mandated time of 10pm

The great indoors! Patrons enjoy the comfort of a warm booth inside The Metro Diner on Manhattan's Upper West Side on Friday

The great indoors! Patrons enjoy the comfort of a warm booth inside The Metro Diner on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Friday 

Table for two! Restaurants hope they will have a busy weekend as couples head out to celebrate Valentine's Day

Table for two! Restaurants hope they will have a busy weekend as couples head out to celebrate Valentine’s Day 

Outdoor dining options still remain available, and many are still choosing to sit outside in the crisp air

Outdoor dining options still remain available, and many are still choosing to sit outside in the crisp air 



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