Indoor dining to be shut down again Monday

December 12, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Indoor dining to be shut down again Monday
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that indoor dining in the city will be shut down beginning Monday.

“Hospitalizations have not stabilized, and with a rising infection rate and NYC’s density, this means that indoor dining is too high of a risk,” Cuomo said. “Take-out, delivery and outdoor dining will continue.”

Alfred Urban, owner of Schnitzel Haus, 7319 Fifth Ave., said the decision will hurt his business immensely.

“The only thing we can do is take-out,” he said. “That’s going to interrupt 60 percent of our business again.”

Urban said that some restaurants in Bay Ridge are more popular and may be able to survive with only outdoor dining.

“These are locations that, fortunately for them, have the capacity to do outdoor dining,” he said. “They have the finances to put in big heaters and build beautiful heaters. Smaller restaurants such as myself can’t afford that and many others can’t.”

Amanda Zenteno, executive director of the Fifth Avenue BID, said the shutdown will be very hard on local restaurants but has seen a push for support.

“The best thing we can all do is order regularly and directly from a variety of establishments and share positive experiences on social media,” Zenteno said. “I believe Bay Ridge can rally behind their friends and neighbors to get through these difficult times together.”

David Estrada, executive director of the Sunset Park BID, said the shutdown comes at the worst possible time.

“Winter weather has made outdoor dining impractical, the holidays are approaching, and the year is about to end,” Estrada said. “Brooklyn restaurants, especially small neighborhood places, need direct financial assistance if they are going to survive.”

Bianca Papas, who runs the South Brooklyn Food and Drink Facebook page, urged people to find ways to support local restaurants.

“If we are interested in them keeping their doors open beyond COVID, instead of wasting time cursing those responsible for implementing these regulations, each of us should go spend as much as we can as often as possible at their establishments,” Papas said.

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