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Grand Central Food Hall Reopens — With Indoor Dining?

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Plus, John Fraser’s the Loyal has reopened for outdoor dining — and more intel

The main grand central terminal with a golden vaulted ceiling with green paint. Some people are seen walking inside the terminal. Shutterstock

Grand Central has set up high tops for its food court

Parts of the Grand Central Terminal food hall have started to reopen this week, including one stretch of the station that appears to encourage indoor dining.

Thirteen food businesses in total are now available for takeout — including Murray’s Cheese and Magnolia Bakery — and officials at the terminal have set-up rows of socially distant hightop tables for customers to stand at while eating their meals. The new dining set-up appears to violate Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ban on indoor dining, specifically as it relates to seating areas in malls and food courts, though it’s not clear at this time whether Grand Central Terminal is classified as a food court, given that it is also a train and subway station. Eater has reached out to the governor’s office for clarification.

In a statement to Eater, the Grand Central Terminal said they introduced the hightop tables “for convenience” and “general use by commuters and visitors.” “This follows the temporary removal of seating to comply with New York State re-opening guidelines,” the statement reads. Per state guidelines on dining at malls and food courts, though, it’s not just seating that’s prohibited from food courts and malls — it’s also tables.

Most of the terminal’s food businesses previously closed on March 16, when Cuomo mandated that restaurants and bars close their doors for indoor dining. Six remained open for delivery — including Zaro’s and Pescatore Seafood — though restaurants in the underground dining concourse did not begin to reopen until earlier this month, on July 10.

The comeback of Grand Central follows several food halls in NYC that have reopened in recent weeks, including Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn and the Market Line on the Lower East Side.

Additional reporting from Tanay Warerkar.

Two rows of hightop tables without chairs in an underground food court
Socially distant hightop tables in the Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal

In other news

— John Fraser, the chef behind the recently shuttered one-Michelin-star restaurant Nix, has reopened his popular neighborhood brasserie in the West Village. The Loyal reopens for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery starting today, a spokesperson for the restaurant says.

— Manhattan-based Japanese restaurant Tonchin will be continuing its Bushwick pop-up through the summer, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant. Tonchin To-Go’s shaved ice cocktails and mango milk kakigori will now be available until August 16.

— There’s a new community fridge set-up outside of the Lot Radio in Greenpoint. The Greenpoint Fridge is stocked with fresh food by local community members and businesses and maintained by volunteers from North Brooklyn Mutual Aid.

— NYC restaurant group Uchu Hospitality, which owns the popular Sushi on Jones and Don Wagyu line of restaurants, has opened a new concept in the Gotham West Market. Bar Jones opens today for outdoor seating and will serve a menu of Japanese bar food and cocktails.

— Julie Reiner and Tom Macy, two of the owners of Clover Club in Brooklyn, are teaming up on a new line of canned cocktails, called Social Hour, which will be available in New York and New Jersey starting on August 1.

— Going into Wednesday like: