The handwriting is on the wall. And on the pavement. And emblazoned across the sky.
The only place where the message doesn’t seem to be resonating is in the head of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who reiterated on Friday that he has no plan to permit indoor dining any time soon.
The message is that city restaurants will not survive the year unless they can begin to fill their dining rooms again. Perhaps hizzoner should visit his city’s health department page, which shows that the COVID curve has flattened almost to extinction. On Aug. 22, the most recent day for which results were tabulated, New York had 141 new cases. The death rate has been near or at zero for much of this month.
Understandably restaurant owners are growing restless. Fox Business reports:
[Massimo] Felici, owner of Staten Island’s Vinum Restaurant and Wine Bar, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” anchor Jedediah Bila that de Blasio’s lack of planning will “devastate” the industry, especially with the looming threat of being completely shut down once reopened in the fall.
“It will devastate us,” he said. “We’re not going to survive the year, for sure. If that happens, very few of us will be able to survive that. We barely survived March, April and May, and now we’re surviving because of the outdoor [dining].”
More than 100 restaurants are now involved in fighting against de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s orders with potential legal action which may be the only option left to keep businesses alive, according to Felici.
Will it to be enough to save the city’s formerly robust dining scene? Only time will tell.