The gesture is heartbreaking. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that indoor dining will resume in New York City on Valentine’s Day at 25% capacity, but many restaurant owners feel like they’ll be losing money anyway.
Restaurant owner Rocco Sacramento found the 25% restrictions outrageous because one-quarter capacity isn’t even viable. He lives in Queens which has a positivity rate of 5.8% while Nassau County, which borders Queens, has a 6.5% positivity rate and has been allowed to open at 50%. Gov Cuomo’s Administration lets restaurants around the state continue to open with higher infection rates and higher hospitalization rates while suppressing small businesses and restaurants in certain counties from operating at full capacity.
Restaurant owners also found it bizarre that Gov. Cuomo chose Valentine’s Day to reopen. They were angry that he wasn’t letting businesses reopen before that since people celebrate the entire weekend. “Now what’s he trying to prove, saying on Valentine’s Day, like that’s his sweetheart gift to the restaurant community. Come on. You know what he can do with his Valentine’s Day gift, correct?” Said Peter Guimares of Bice restaurant.
After ending a two month ban on indoor dining, the restaurant industry was hit hard and 25% doesn’t cut it. Restaurant owners cannot survive with three-quarters of their seats off-limits Gov. Cuomo reports that they will reopen at limited capacity as long as “provided current downward trends in positivity and hospitalization rates continue.” The threat continues on baseless “science” that Gov. Cuomo insists to follow, although the actual statistics speak otherwise.
“What are we going to do with 25 percent? It’s a joke! It’s disgusting. I go to the gym, touch everything, get a haircut, but nobody can go to dinner? You can go to New Jersey, my friends’ restaurants have an hour wait on a Tuesday,” said Vincent Malerba, the owner of four Staten Island Restaurants.
Vincent said Gov. Cuomo was probably being cruel to eateries because of his 14-year relationship with Sandra Lee crashing down last year. “Maybe that’s why he hates our industry,” he suggested.
Gov. Cuomo also said he would allow wedding venues to reopen on March 15th providing that all guests were tested, attendees are limited to 50% of capacity, and local health departments give the thumbs-up. “Dinner on Valentine’s Day. You propose on Valentine’s Day, and then you can have the wedding on March 15,” Cuomo said.
It’s a weird sentence to hear coming from a politician. You can really tell who’s having a power trip during the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s always a Democrat.