This likely won't be an issue moving forward. City Council yesterday voted — 43-3 in favor of the bill — to require stores and restaurants in the five boroughs to accept cash for payment.
As Council members noted, businesses that accept only credit and debit cards are discriminating against residents who lack bank accounts and credit cards.
Enforcement details via the Associated Press:
Businesses that refuse cash will be fined $1,000 for the first violation and $1,500 after that. The measure, which is expected to go into effect by the end of the year, also prohibits stores from charging higher prices for paying in cash.
An excerpt from Gothamist:
"We in the Council have real concerns that an increasingly cashless marketplace could have a real-world discriminatory effect on the most vulnerable New Yorkers," said the bill's sponsor, Councilmember Ritchie Torres, in a phone interview. "There are some people, especially senior citizens...who prefer cash as a habitual method of payment. There are some who prefer cash because it's more predictable. Or they're concerned about privacy."
As Eater pointed out, this means that restaurant chains like Dos Toros and By Chloe and several establishments in the Union Square Hospitality Group (Daily Provisions at Union Square, for example) will have to start accepting cash.
The bill will go into effect nine months after Mayor de Blasio signs it into law. A spokesperson for the mayor told Gothamist that he supports the bill.