The move follows months of pushback from restaurant and bar owners across the city, who have been calling on elected officials to lift the state's midnight curfew. Industry trade groups and local politicians have also spoken out against the curfew, calling it an unfair, "arbitrary" restriction that hampers the ability of restaurateurs to bring in revenue due to earlier cutoff times.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
It's a minor win for restaurant and bar owners who have been calling on elected officials to lift the state's pandemic curfew for months and seen only incremental change."It's great news," says one south Brooklyn bar owner, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely. "No curfew would obviously be better, but we do have to watch out for 'Cinderella Covid' which only comes out at midnight."
As Thrillist pointed out: "Subways are still out of service from 2 to 4 a.m., too, which could pose a challenge for hospitality workers trying to get home once the new curfew goes into effect."
And the reaction from Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance:
The extra hour is good news for restaurants, bars and customers, but we need to also lift the rule that prohibits customers from being seated to eat at a bar in NYC, and revisit removing the requirement that a “food item” be served with a drink. @theNYCalliance https://t.co/z80fuV8QRA— Andrew Rigie (@AndrewRigie) April 14, 2021
Monday, March 15, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021
"Our decisions are based on science and data and we adjust as the virus adjusts. The infection rate and hospitalizations have continued to significantly decline. Accordingly, we have adjusted with arena and catering hall openings with rigorous testing and limited capacity indoor dining openings in New York City. We will also move the restaurant and bar closing hour from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. statewide on Sunday. We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly. If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy."On Friday, Cuomo said that the NYC daily positivity rate was 3.91 percent — the lowest percent since Dec. 19.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
[B&H Dairy as seen in 2018]
In case you didn't catch this news yesterday afternoon... Gov. Cuomo announced that indoor dining in New York City can resume on Sept. 30 with a 25-percent occupancy limit.
And the bullet points on guidance for indoor dining in NYC:
- 25 percent occupancy limit
- Temperature checks will be required at the door for all customers
- One member of each party will be required to provide contact information for tracing if needed
- No bar service — bars will only be used as service bars, a source of making drinks and serving them tableside
- Masks must be worn at all times when not seated at a table
- Tables must be six feet apart
- Restaurants close at midnight
- Strict adherence to all State-issued guidance
- Restaurants should operate with enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards
- Limit air recirculation and allow for outside air ventilation
- Outdoor dining will continue in the interim
Indoor dining has been banned since the COVID-19 PAUSE went into effect on March 22. More than NYC 1,000 bars and restaurants have shuttered since then, per Eater.
East Village closures include Jewel Bako, Porsena, Oda House and Mermaid Inn... and maybe Odessa.
Friday, August 21, 2020
Mister Paradise, the cocktail bar on First Avenue, has decided to temporarily pack it in for the near future here between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.
The bar, which does offer a food menu, had been open with curbside seating. However, ownership apparently didn't think the risk was worth whatever revenue stream was coming in during the outdoor-dining phase.
Here's part of their Instagram post from yesterday:
We are very grateful to every one of you who came to support us over the past few months, but we have made the call to go back into hibernation. The state’s mandate that everyone must have a full meal in front of them, regardless of dinner plans or if they are coming for a cocktail after a meal, has further crippled not only us, but many many bars that have been acting responsibly since day one, and are just doing their best to hang on to the frayed thread that the government has thrown our way.
H/T Vinny & O
Thursday, August 13, 2020
[Cloister photos by Steven]
On Tuesday evening, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state had suspended liquor licenses for 38 bars in New York City and on Long Island "after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders."
Of those 38, four of the establishments are in the East Village. (We already covered Maiden Lane here.)
Here are the other three:
• Cloister Cafe, 238 E. Ninth Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
Per the SLA:
On August 7th, the New York City Sheriff's Office requested assistance from the state's multi-agency task force at this establishment approximately 12:30 a.m. — well past the 11 p.m. NYC curfew. Investigators found the restaurant operating as a nightclub and hookah lounge with a live DJ, documenting numerous patrons ignoring social distancing with lines of customers congregating in front of the premises without facial coverings, at least twenty patrons consuming alcohol indoors under a fixed roof, and no receipts for food purchases. The inspection identified thirty-three significant fire and life safety violations, with the NYC Sheriff's Office issuing seven criminal court summonses.
The exclusive pandemic parties reportedly hosted here by Provocateur, a former Meatpacking District club, were a poorly kept secret in recent weeks at Cloister Cafe — now going as Café Tucano.
One recent attendee told Gothamist, in a story published on Aug. 4, that he saw "hundreds of people, nobody is social distancing, nobody is wearing masks. It’s like the normal club scene. There’s a lot of spenders there. If they do social distancing, they can’t make money. They need to have a packed room full of people to make money."
• The Hairy Lemon, 28-30 Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street.
Per the SLA:
On August 8th, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed patrons standing and drinking without facial coverings outside the premises and confirmed that the location was operating a bar-type service, selling drinks to multiple patrons without substantial food.
The Hairy Lemon had drawn neighbor complaints in recent weeks with crowds congregating to watch sports from the bar's front windows... photos here from Aug. 1 (via Stacie Joy)...
[Photo from Sunday after the closure]
• The Wayland, 700 E. Ninth St. at Avenue C.
Per the SLA:
On August 7th, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed at least 13 patrons without facial coverings standing outside the bar, congregating and mingling. Investigators also noted patrons served drinks at an outdoor table without food.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
East Village bar owner petitioning against Cuomo’s COVID-19 menu mandate has liquor license suspended for not serving food
[Photos by Stacie Joy]
Last week, Abby Ehmann, the owner of Lucky at 168 Avenue B, launched a petition asking Gov. Cuomo to roll back his mandate that bars must serve a "substantive" amount of food in order to stay open during the pandemic.
Yesterday, Cuomo announced that the state has suspended liquor licenses for 11 New York State bars — including Lucky — for "egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders." (To date during COVID-19, the state has suspended liquor licenses for 94 bars.)
This is what the State Liquor Authority had to say about Lucky:
On August 3rd, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force interviewed the owner of the business, who admitted to serving alcohol to patrons without food, in addition to acknowledging the business does not have a kitchen or prepare food, which has been a requirement of all licensed taverns dating back to 1964. The licensee previously had been cited and disciplined, in 2019, a "non bona fide" for having no food available.
Suspension orders remain in effect indefinitely, with the maximum penalty including the permanent revocation of the license and fines of up to $10,000 per violation, according to the SLA.
Ehmann has been advocating for a "seating not eating" rule. As she stated on the petition, signed by nearly 2,800 people as of last night: "Rather than legislating what customers must order, I believe it would be safer and smarter to require customers be seated while consuming whatever they want. If no standing is allowed, the possibility of overcrowding is eliminated."
With the threat of the tropical storm yesterday, Ehmann did not open her bar, and was unaware that she had her license suspended until we contacted her for comment.
Ehmann told EVG correspondent Stacie Joy that she believes the state targeted her business. News of the petition has been covered in the Daily News, WCBS News Radio 880 and Eater.
She offered this update last night on what happened:
I have been very vocal in my opposition to this law. On Monday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. I received a visit from two representatives of the NY State Liquor Authority. Their only concern was if my customers — all eight of them — had ordered food with their alcohol. No other safety measures were inspected or questioned. Also, no other bars or restaurants in close proximity to mine received such visits, causing me to believe that I was intentionally targeted.
This is troubling, especially given how many of my bar and restaurant owner peers have expressed fear of retaliation when asked to join me in this battle.
I thought that I had received my first warning — a somewhat unofficial document consisting of a Xeroxed piece of paper with the headline NOTICE AND WARNING [see image below] as opposed to an actual ticket specifying my violations. But moments ago I discovered that my business is listed as one of those whose license has been suspended. NO notification. NO "three strikes." This is an outrage.
As for background, on June 22, outdoor dining returned to NYC. At the time, Cuomo did not specify that only restaurants could provide the service. Bars, who previously were selling drinks to go, could now set up tables provided they also continue to serve snacks.
However, with some bars not adhering to any kind of social distancing, Cuomo said on July 23 that to stay open, establishments needed to offer menu items beyond chips and popcorn.
"To be a bar, you had to have food available — soups, sandwiches, etc.," he said during a press conference. "More than just hors d'oeuvres, chicken wings, you had to have some substantive food."
Bar owners, already under a financial strain and working with skeleton crews, were left scrambling to create a menu and kitchen or face significant fines or the threat of closure — even if they never served food before the COVID-19 PAUSE.
In reporting on the petition Monday, Eater noted that Lucky had been selling Hot Pockets via a microwave. Per Eater: "In the past, Ehmann received a $2,000 fine from the SLA for not offering food on the bar's kitchen-less premises."
Despite the suspension and further loss of revenue, Ehmann said that she is doubling down on the food issue with her petition drive.
Previously on EV Grieve:
• A petition to allow patrons to sit at a bar without having to order a meal
Saturday, August 1, 2020
In response to Gov. Cuomo's recent mandate that people sitting outside a bar also need to be ordering a "substantive" amount of food from the establishment, Abby Ehmann, owner of Lucky on Avenue B, launched a petition to amend the executive order.
On June 22, outdoor dining returned to NYC. At the time, Cuomo did not specify that only restaurants could provide the service. Bars, who previously were selling drinks to go, could now set up tables provided they also continue to serve snacks.
However, with some bars — notably White Horse Tavern — not adhering to any kind of social distancing, Cuomo said on July 23 that to stay open, establishments needed to offer more than chips and pretzels.
"To be a bar, you had to have food available — soups, sandwiches, etc.," he said in a press conference. "More than just hors d'oeuvres, chicken wings, you had to have some substantive food."
Now bars, already under a financial strain and working with skeleton crews, need to create a menu and whip up a kitchen or be forced to close — even if they never served food before the COVID-19 PAUSE.
"The ever-changing rules and lack of clarity are creating enormous challenges and concerns for small business owners who are in a crisis," Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, told The Daily Mail last week.
To the petition:
The resulting mandate not only puts an onerous burden on bar owners, it has no bearing on safety or health. All super-spreader events have been about ventilation — or the lack thereof — and proximity, not what the people were ingesting.
Rather than legislating what customers must order, I believe it would be safer and smarter to require customers be seated while consuming whatever they want. If no standing is allowed, the possibility of overcrowding is eliminated.
New York is fortunate that our capable leadership has managed to flatten the curve and make us among the top states in the nation in virus containment. Restaurant and bar owners celebrate that success and want to help ensure that our numbers remain low. We are aggressively invested in keeping our customers healthy.
If we, as business owners, are able to maintain social distancing, with tables six feet apart, and require that all our customers be seated, we can easily help contain the spread of the virus. SEATING NOT EATING is a far more elegant solution. It also does not require additional staffing or other expenditures that place an additional burden on an industry that is already suffering severe financial hardship. What people consume on our premises isn’t the problem. HOW they are consuming does, and I believe they should be seated.
You can find the petition at this link.
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Gov. Cuomo condemns suspect who left anti-gay graffiti on Avenue A; another message found on Norfolk Street
A follow-up to the earlier post about the anti-gay message spray-painted on the gate of the empty storefront at 11 Avenue A...
The graffiti at 11 Avenue A, which is now under investigation by the @NYPDHateCrimes Task Force, has been cleaned. If you’ve got any information about it or it’s perpetrator, there’s a reward—up to $2500! ☎️ 1-800-577-TIPS or DM @NYPDTips. #YourCityYourCall pic.twitter.com/fFwZD4uTKX— NYPD 9th Precinct (@NYPD9Pct) August 10, 2019
Earlier today, Gov. Cuomo condemned the hate crime...
In New York we have zero tolerance for this sort of vile and cowardly act of hate. I'm directing the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to assist the NYPD with its investigation to ensure those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.https://t.co/W9DQYXTKfc— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 10, 2019
Unfortunately, Avenue A wasn't the only place to receive a hateful message ... this is on the east side of Norfolk Street just north of Delancy (h/t @madaecnerwal) ...
Thursday, January 24, 2019
In case you missed this Streetsblog scoop yesterday... the Streetsbloggers got a draft MTA memo that reveals some of the potential pain behind Gov. Cuomo's miracle L-train cure.
A few items of interest to residents and retailers around here...
• "Stations at First and Third avenues will likely be reconfigured to exit-only." ("That’s just abysmal for the East Village," said Jon Orcutt, the spokesman for TransitCenter.)
Overnight, there will be 20-minute gaps in train service (like on weekends) .. plus!
• "There will be the aforementioned need for 'metering' at L platforms at Union Square, Third Avenue, First Avenue and Bedford Avenue. If the monitoring of station crowds reveals a danger, the MTA would temporarily restrict access to the platforms."
MTA officials weren't pleased by the leak.
“The alternative service plan for the L train hasn’t been completed yet, so citing draft and outdated reports is not only irresponsible but it does a disservice to New Yorkers and our customers who need reliable, official information,” the agency said in a statement. “The MTA will work with the community to provide the service they need while keeping the L train open in both directions 24/7 and providing full, unaltered weekday service for 275,000 riders a day.”
You can read the full Streetsblog post here.
Saturday, January 5, 2019
[The L-train construction zone along 14th Street this a.m.]
Details continue to emerge from Gov. Cuomo's L-train bombshell from Thursday ... like this one today via the Post on Cuomo's untested approach:
The engineering team behind Gov. Cuomo’s miracle L-train cure has little experience working on transit projects — and spent a grand total of an hour evaluating the damage firsthand in the subway line’s tunnel, The Post has learned.
But, in a stunning piece of spin, the governor’s office defended that lack of expertise as innovative thinking.
“We’re breaking the box by using the expertise of engineers who don’t usually work on subways in order to improve it,” Cuomo spokesman Patrick Muncie told The Post.