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The Restaurant Fallout With Landlords May Already Be Starting

Plus, Union Square Hospitality Group is auctioning off dinners and cooking classes to support its employees — and more intel

A bartender pours a drink standing behind a bar counter
Caffe Dante’s West Village outpost may not survive the ongoing shutdown
Gary He/Eater

Restaurateurs fear they may not be able to reopen after the crisis passes

Some NYC restaurateurs — including Linden Pride, who owns famed cocktail bar Dante — worry that they may not have the money to reopen their restaurants unless they’re able to reach some kind of agreement with their landlords, Bloomberg reports. Pride was set to open a West Village outpost of his Greenwich Village bar on March 15, just a day before the state-mandated shutdown on dining due to COVID-19 in went into effect. He has pivoted to cocktail delivery, but hasn’t been able to pay March and April rent and could get booted out of the West Village location after the ongoing 90-day moratorium on evictions ends in mid-June, unless Pride’s landlord reconsiders.

The restaurateurs’ concerns echoes a recent report published by the National Restaurant Association, which predicts that about 12 percent of restaurants surveyed in New York state would close permanently in the next month. Across the city, top restaurants are calling on their landlords for rent forgiveness or deferment in efforts to stay afloat during the crisis and be able to reopen once the virus passes.

In other news

Union Square Hospitality Group, the group that runs restaurants like Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe, has launched an online auction to support its employee relief fund. Items include a dinner with restaurateur Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe and a cooking class with Gramercy Tavern executive chef Mike Anthony.

— Chinatown’s Hong Kong Supermarket has incurred $70,000 in fines from the city for repeatedly charging more money for face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers.

— Six thousand homeless New Yorkers will be relocated from shelters into some of the city’s hotels during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

— Actor Hugh Jackson sent pizzas to police officers at his local NYPD precinct in Chelsea last week.

— More than 400 New Yorkers lined up outside the Bowery Mission to receive a free Easter meal on Sunday.

— Grocery chain Fairway’s Harlem location may close for good unless it finds a bidder during its ongoing bankruptcy protection. Separately, the grocery chain is arguing that its executives still deserve $2.3 million in bonuses.

— We’re down for this