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Some NYC Restaurants Have Boarded Up In Anticipation of Potential Election Unrest

Plus, Monday’s strong wind gusts toppled some outdoor dining structures — and more intel

The ground floor of a building with plywood covering all the windows and a sign reading “Sweetgreen” out front
Sweetgreen at Union Square
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Restaurants are boarding up in anticipation of protests in the aftermath of the election

Restaurants across the city are boarding up windows and adding extra security measures to their properties in anticipation of potential unrest in the aftermath of the presidential election, the New York Post reports. Manhattan establishments including Theater District veteran Patsy’s Italian and Central Park-adjacent Greek fine dining spot Avra Madison Estiatorio are putting up plywood over windows and temporarily hiring security guards this week to protect the restaurants against damage if rioting occurs as election results roll in. Downtown restaurants and retail businesses are similarly boarding up windows and doors.

The NYPD has warned restaurants south of 59th Street in Manhattan that outdoor dining setups “could be weaponized,” according to the Post, and it is advising businesses to move indoors or secure “any non-fastened miscellaneous items” that are currently outdoors.

Not all neighborhood restaurants are taking the same precautionary measures, however. Chinatown Partnership executive director Wellington Chen told the New York Times that he has not observed many businesses in Manhattan’s Chinatown boarding up, as the move is costly for small business owners, and the owners don’t anticipate sustaining damage to their storefronts.

In other news

— The extremely windy weather yesterday ended up destroying some outdoor dining setups at restaurants located in Long Island City and the Upper West Side.

— The New York City Hospitality Alliance has launched a new series on its site where Black food writers will highlight stories of Black restaurant and nightlife workers in NYC. The first story in the monthly series — a profile of Sylvia’s restaurateur Tren’ness Woods-Black — is live now.

— Several Manhattan Chinatown businesses and nonprofits are raising money via a GoFundMe to pay for new lights in the neighborhood’s streets to support year-round outdoor dining efforts.

— Chelsea Market retail shop Neighborhood Goods has added a new French-leaning cafe, Tiny Feast, to its property, according to a spokesperson. Sandwiches, housemade pastries, beignets, and Parlor coffee are on the menu. The cafe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

— Chef and restaurateur Michael Lomonaco’s Porter House Bar and Grill at Columbus Circle is reopening on November 6 for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, plus takeout and delivery.

New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells predicts how outdoor dining will fundamentally change NYC, including a more permanent blurring of the line between restaurant food and street food; and the rise of more outdoor street musicians.

— Here we go:

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