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To-Go Cocktails and Closed Restaurants Is a Perfect Storm of Public Urination, Report Says

Plus, a third of the city’s food pantries have closed as a result of the pandemic — and more intel

The photo of a lush, green park, three people can be seen walking
Some New Yorkers are reportedly urinating in Tompkins Square Park with no access to restrooms at restaurants and bars

Without access to NYC restaurant restrooms, public urination is on the rise

As summer days grow longer and the city’s takeout cocktails get stronger, some New York City business owners are reporting a new problem in their neighborhoods: public urination.

The problem is documented in a new report from the New York Post, which found that there may not be enough public restrooms to keep up with the city’s budding takeout cocktail business. While many restaurants and bars have opened their sidewalk-facing windows as a way to serve takeout drinks, those same bars aren’t yet able to open their restrooms to walk-in customers. In Tompkins Square Park, for example — where public restrooms are open until 7 p.m. but many restaurants in the area serve takeout drinks until at least 9 p.m. — visitors to the neighborhood have opted to avail themselves in the public park instead, according to the Post.

Many of the city’s cultural institutions — including shuttered theaters and museums — have opened up the restrooms in their lobbies to the public, while lists of other toilets for use across the city are circulating online. Even so, it’s apparently not enough to make up for old-reliable bathroom stops, like Starbucks and McDonald’s, being closed to walk-in customers.

For restaurants and revelers, relief could come as soon as June 22, though, when NYC may be able to enter phase two of its gradual three-part reopening process. At that point, restaurants will be able to offer outdoor dining and limited restroom access, according to the NYS Department of Health, “provided that social distancing is promoted within and while waiting for restrooms.”

In other news

— More than a third of the city’s food pantries and kitchens have shuttered as a result of the pandemic, according to a new report from hunger-relief group Food Bank for New York City. Of the 806 kitchens and pantries in the city, 190 closed since the start of the pandemic, in part because they were staffed by senior citizens, Gothamist reports.

— Meanwhile in Park Slope, some residents have launched their own pop-up food pantry to help take some strain off of the area’s existing meal programs. The pantry, operating out of the Camp Friendship space, will be open every Tuesday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

— New York chophouse Quality Italian and its older-school red sauce sibling Don Angie are reopening for takeout and delivery this afternoon. Orders can be placed through the restaurants’ websites or by calling from Wednesday to Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

— East Village Taiwanese restaurant 886 is back for delivery this week, according to owner Eric Sze. The restaurant’s temporary delivery menu includes items like a shacha beef dish that Sze grew up eating with family and friends.

— East Village grocer Ben’s Deli has rented out its grill space to chefs Ruben Cardoso and Enrique Jardines, who are running a pop-up with Mexican street food.

— American fast food chain Panda Express has started to gradually reopen its NYC locations, a spokesperson for the company says.

— Behold, plantain sourdough: