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Beachside Restaurants and Bars Brace for a Summer of Almost No Business

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Plus, a new virtual food festival will celebrate Jewish cuisine over 10 days later this month — and more intel

Daily Life In New York City Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Beachside restaurants and bars in the New York area brace themselves for a slower summer

With many beaches closed — and reopening plans still unclear — beachside businesses are bracing themselves for what’s beginning to look like a very different kind of summer from the usual busy season.

On the Coney Island boardwalk, businesses are holding their breaths for guidance on when — and whether — they can reopen safely, amNY reports. The NYPD had previously considered deploying an additional 150 police officers with overtime to monitor the state’s beaches, but that plan has since been postponed until at least after Memorial Day, one of the boardwalk’s busiest days of the season. Events that normally give Coney Island businesses a surge in business — like the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest and the Mermaid Parade, which attract a combined 850,000 or so people each year — have also been canceled or rescheduled. Though more established businesses on the boardwalk are holding out for now, the prospect of a shorter summer season has already resulted in closings at newly-opened restaurants like Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and a franchise location of Applebee’s.

Across the Hudson, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has said that he expects all of the state’s beaches to be reopened in time for Memorial Day, albeit with some regulations in place. Social distancing will be overseen by “social distancing ambassadors,” who will monitor crowds on the state’s beaches and boardwalks, Murphy has said. Even if beaches do open back up, though, the state Division of Travel and Tourism is preparing for a 25 percent drop in visitors to New Jersey this year and a 30 percent decline in spending.

Mayor de Blasio has not yet announced a plan to reopen beaches. But if Coney Island and Rockaway Beach open, non-essential businesses and dining rooms are likely to remain closed for some time.

In other news

— A new virtual food festival will celebrate Jewish cuisine from May 19 to May 28. The 10-day schedule for the Great Big Jewish Food Fest includes cooking alongs, discussions, and happy hours. The free event is open to the public on Zoom and social channels, with donations supporting meals for NYC’s front-line workers are encouraged.

— There’s a new craft beer hall coming to the Staten Island waterfront this summer. Clinton Hall will be joining the Empire Outlets development for its sixth New York City location, a spokesperson for the company tells Eater.

— East Village Korean restaurant Soogil is now offering prepared meal sets for home delivery through a new service called Chan by Soogil, also available for pick-up from the restaurant.

Food and Wine named its best new chefs of 2020 this week. Trigg Brown of Win Son and Win Son Bakery in Williamsburg made the cut, as did Eunjo Park of Kāwi in the Hudson Yards.

— Noho Italian spot Il Buco Alimentari will be reopening this Thursday. The restaurant’s beloved short rib sandwich is on the menu, as is its roast chicken. Check the restaurant’s Instagram page for the updated hours, days and menus.

— Maman will be reopening its locations near Madison Square Park and in Greenpoint starting today. The French bakery will also be selling its housemade cookie doughs, hot sauces, and sweet and savory jams.

— Murray Hill’s the Flying Cock is back open for business this week, the bar’s owner tells Eater. The restaurant and bar will be open for delivery and takeout daily from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a limited menu of food, beer, and cocktails.

— Bel Aire Diner in Astoria is hosting drive-in movies, including showings of Grease and Dirty Dancing. Check the restaurant’s Instagram for showtimes and availability.

— Retailers in the Grand Central Terminal are now available through a new online ordering platform called Mercato.

— Salsa deserves better:

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