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More Than Half of New York’s Restaurants Are in Danger of Closing: Survey

Plus, acclaimed NYC pastry chef Zoë Kanan is participating in a pop-up for the first time ever this weekend — and more intel

A restaurant that have leasing sign on is seen as restaurants forced to shut their doors amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in New York City, United States on December 9, 2020. 
By one industry estimate, 4,500 of NYC’s restaurants have already permanently closed
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

NY restaurants are bearing the brunt of the industry’s economic crisis

Across the country, restaurants have been decimated by the pandemic. But according to a new survey conducted by the New York State Restaurant Association, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, New York restaurants are hurting more from the economic crisis in comparison to the industry nationwide.

According to the survey — which polled 6,000 restaurant operators, including 238 in New York, over the last two weeks of November — 54 percent of NY restauranteurs say it is likely that they will close in the next six months if another federal relief package does not come through, compared to 37 percent nationwide. Nearly 60 percent of NY operators say they are considering going into hibernation until the pandemic is over, compared to 36 percent nationwide.

The operating landscape has been extremely tough for NYC restaurateurs throughout the pandemic. Restaurants in the city are currently operating at 25 percent indoor capacity with a 10 p.m. nightly curfew, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that indoor dining could be completely banned starting next week.

Overall, the National Restaurant Association estimates that one in six restaurants across the country have already permanently shuttered due to the economic crisis amid the pandemic. If the estimate is accurate, that would mean that 8,333 restaurants, including 4,500 establishments in NYC, have permanently shut down so far, according to the New York State Restaurant Association. However, the true number of restaurant closures during the pandemic may not be fully known for years.

In other news

Acclaimed NYC pastry chef Zoë Kanan is participating in a pop-up for the first time ever this weekend, at Flower Bodega in Prospect Heights. Expect to find inventive, gorgeous doughnuts and other holiday treats here, including a red jelly doughnut made with cranberry, pineapple, and blood orange, and saffron cream doughnuts. Proceeds from the doughnut skewers with speculoos glaze will be donated to the nonprofit Street Vendor Project. The pop-up will run on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and pre-orders are live here.

— Speaking of the Street Vendor Project, the organization has announced that it will be expanding its food distribution program. It plans to prepare and distribute 600 meals weekly through April 2021 to immigrant communities in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

— One of the city’s top pizza shops, PQR on the Upper East Side, has added a sandwich menu to its offerings.

— Chef Christian Marcano, formerly of NYC restaurants including La Fonda del Sol at Grand Central and Boqueria, has started selling bundles of empanadas to customers via Instagram. There are two different kinds of empanadas — beef and jalapeño and cheese, both paired with a spicy avocado crema — that are sold frozen at $20 for a dozen. The proceeds go towards helping Marcano offset health care costs that have accumulated during the pandemic after he was diagnosed with cancer in July. There’s also a GoFundMe set up to support Marcano here.

— Brooklyn natural wine bar LaLou has launched an online holiday shop that’s bursting with cheer and wine. Curated four-packs of bottles are available for pickup starting this week, and extra-special holiday foods including an 8-inch Bûche de Noël made with Valrhona dark chocolate and orange marmalade can be pre-ordered for pickup on December 23 and 24.

— Uber’s CEO wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday urging that New York include food delivery workers among those first in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

— Jealous:

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