If Andrew Cuomo wants to pull a Gavin Newsom in New York City, there are a lot of restaurants looking to make it harder for him.
According to the Washington Examiner, a group of Gotham restaurants have joined together on social media to ban the state’s governor from their establishments over his lockdown policies.
“He can eat at some sh—y roadside diner outside of Albany but he will not be served anywhere in New York City, known universally as the world’s greatest dining destination!” bar owner Larry Baird told The Coney Island Blog.
“If he has to use the restroom he can go pee on my street corner! That’s what he wants anyway!”
Cuomo had reintroduced a ban on indoor dining in New York City earlier this month despite protests from the city’s eateries and bars.
“In New York City, you put the CDC caution on indoor dining together with the rate of transmission and the density and the crowding, that is a bad situation,” Gov. Cuomo said Dec. 11, according to The Associated Press.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the decision.
“This is painful. So many restaurants are struggling. But we can’t allow this virus to reassert itself in our city,” he said on Twitter.
As #COVID19 indicators continue to rise, it’s time to shut down indoor dining. This is painful. So many restaurants are struggling. But we can’t allow this virus to reassert itself in our city.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 11, 2020
New York City’s restauranteurs weren’t thrilled with this turn of events:
Who is going to sit outside, 36 Degrees and snowing. Are you guys ok making these decisions? If you shut down , just shut down all. ( im a restaurant owner ). Because of outdoor dining, we spent $ 7000 to make this. pic.twitter.com/oAW7xtTsUj
— Mark Erdo (@MurattiGs) December 11, 2020
“This action will inevitably result in massive layoffs and vast closures right before the holidays,” Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said in a statement.
She added the decision was a “huge blow” and “unfair and devastating.”
Danny Presti, owner of Mac’s Public House, has gotten desperate enough that he’s giving his food and drink away for free after an arrest earlier in December for breaking the lockdown orders.
“It doesn’t seem like we can do business,” he said. “So here’s what we’re going to do for everybody: We’re going to give away everything for free. So now you can come to Mac’s Public House, and you can eat for free and you can drink for free. We just ask that you do make a donation toward us so that we can still pay our bills.”
“We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and the Governor of NY State,” a sign in the bar’s window read.
Philippe Massoud, who owns Lebanese-American restaurant ilili in Midtown Manhattan, said that the restrictions would reduce his revenues to 8 to 15 percent of what they were.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult,” said Massoud, a Lebanese immigrant. “I lived through 14 years of civil war, so it’s going to take a lot to extinguish me. But this is very trying.”
He also wondered what would happen to restaurant workers who couldn’t make it in New York City.
“If you can’t eat out in the city and you can’t have a semblance of life, why are you going to be in the city?” he said. “When social life and dining-out life is extinguished in the city, it’s no longer a city.”
If the members of NYC Restaurants Open on Facebook have anything to say about it, it won’t be a city where Cuomo can eat out anytime soon. According to The Coney Island Blog, members of the group are supporting an “executive order” banning the governor from city eateries.
“Completely schizophrenic behavior! How are they coming up with these rules is beyond any logical reasoning,” one member said.
“While I do not live in NYC or own a restaurant there or anywhere else in the US, I feel your pain,” another commenter said. “I say the Cuomo ban should extend to ALL of his family members not only in NYC or NY State, but nationwide. Should also do the same for de Blasio and his family.”
“Why don’t you all just band together and stay open?” another individual asked. (“They threaten you with the liquor license. You lose that you’re done and that dirtbag Cuomo knows it,” a commenter remarked.)
How many restaurants are going to band together in the effort — and how long it lasts — is anyone’s guess. What is clear is that, when this is all over, the governor isn’t going to be welcomed into his state’s biggest city with open arms, particularly by the hospitality industry.
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