Restaurant owners in New York City are furious at the state’s governor after he proposed dine-in businesses re-open – but only at a 25 percent capacity.
On Wednesday, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City would be opening back up, he also declared state health officials were “looking at going back to the 25 percent” indoor dining capacity, after altogether outlawing indoor dining back in December.
Many frustrated restauranteurs voiced their discontent to the New York Post, arguing the somewhat looser restrictions are still a slap in the face.
“The restaurants are packed in Nassau and I feel like I’m going to f—ing shoot myself! Are you f—ing kidding me?!” the incensed owner of Queens-based Trattoria L’Incontro, Rocco Sacramone.
Likewise, the owner of Brooklyn restaurant Tikka Indian Grill, Syed Hossain, opposed a return to the 25% capacity implemented last fall, saying it would make the business unprofitable.
“Twenty-five percent? We can’t! It’s stupid — I’d be losing money,” Hossain told the Post, likely referring to the expenses involved in staffing the business.
The owner of Staten Island restaurants Angelina’s Ristorante and Angelina’s Kitchen was irate that other businesses with seemingly higher health risks are allowed to operate.
“What are we going to do with 25 percent?” asked restauranteur Vincent Malerba, adding, “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,” Malerba lamented.
Malerba suggested Cuomo’s ire toward the restaurant industry could stem from the governor’s recent split with his celebrity chef girlfriend Sandra Lee.
“His ex-girlfriend was a celebrity chef… Maybe that’s why he hates our industry,” Malerba hypothesized.