ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New Year’s Eve is typically one of the biggest nights of the year for bars and restaurants. This year, many are preparing for a much smaller crowd, and some will have no customers at all.
Rochester’s Blu Wolf Bistro is in an orange zone, meaning they aren’t open for dine-in at all. Regardless of microcluster zone designation, all restaurants have to close at 10 p.m., meaning no one will be ringing in the New Year at a bar or restaurant.
Jason Snyder is the CEO of Blu Wolf. “Our normal New Year’s Eve, great time, we have people in for dinner, we do a champagne toast at midnight, we’re full, everyone’s happy celebrating a New Year and that’s just not the way it’s gonna be this year,” he said.
Twenty minutes down the road, Whiskey River Pub and Grill in Charlotte is in a yellow zone and is open for dine-in. Manager David Harrison said they’ll have to continue limiting tables to four people and close by 10 p.m., even on New Year’s Eve.
“Normally on a New Year’s Eve, I would be running two bands. I’d have one downstairs, one upstairs. I’d have two full bars going with four bartenders working,” Harrison said. “I’m thankful that we’re at least open till 10 p.m. because right now across the city there’s over 400 bars and restaurants that are completely closed.”
Over on the east side, the Pittsford Pub and Grill is also in the yellow zone. Owner Scott Thyroff also said that 10 p.m. curfew changes things.
“We have to close at 10 but we are still going to do a special New Year’s Eve menu as well as our regular menu and hope that we get an early hit and be closed up by 10:00 instead of midnight or 1,” Thyroff said.
Over on the west side in Brockport, 58 Main BBQ is in the small part of Monroe County under no zone restrictions aside from the curfew. Still, owner Marc Marcello said he’s scaling back.
“That closing at 10 impact kind of might keep people home and keep making the food in their house. We’re gonna offer some nice stuff but it’s not gonna be as dolled up as year’s past,” he said. “We do want to create an atmosphere for those who do come out to enjoy it.”
To ensure everyone’s following the rules, officers from the Brockport Police Department, including Lieutenant Steve Mesiti, will be stopping by restaurants on New Year’s Eve. Mesiti said they’ve been doing this throughout the pandemic.
“We want to help them to be in compliance, we want their businesses to continue to stay open throughout this pandemic so we’ve stopped in once a week our officers will stop in with the owners and managers make sure everything is going well,” Lieutenant Mesiti said.
NEWS10’s sisters station in Rochester also reached out to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office about enforcement throughout the county. They said COVID guidelines are enforced by the health department.