ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Cuomo announced on Wednesday that New York will end all curfews on bars and restaurants by the end of May.
The latest rollback on Covid-19 directives comes as state lawmakers overrode an existing mandate on Wednesday requiring people to buy food with alcohol.
“They come from dinner late at night, they don’t want to eat again,” said Owner of Dawns Victory Sports Café Dawn Lynch.
Lynch said the food mandate wasn’t welcomed by customers. It was also costly through fines if businesses were found not in compliance.
“Nobody can afford fines. We’ve paid so much out of pocket to try to stay open. You know, I just don’t think between all these rules it was fair,” Lynch said.
The directive was put in place to stop people from mingling at bar and restaurants, but for businesses it was also a waste of food. At times, customers were ordering food they didn’t want.
“It definitely impacted our revenue, but besides that, we also threw out a lot of food. I mean, it was a waste of money,” said Pearl Street Pub Owner Chris Pratt.
Pratt said the rollback on ordering food and the second reversal, which ended all curfews for restaurants and bars at the end of May, is helpful for a cash-strapped industry.
“That’s great. That’s tremendous that we can go later, but we need to get to the point where the three foot, or six foot, rule is minimized,” Pratt said.
Ultimately, the restaurant industry is not out of the woods.
“We’re in fight or flight still. We’re in thousands of dollars of debt,” said McGeary’s Irish Pub Owner Tess Collins.
The pair of reversals is something the state restaurant association said is “just one step.”