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80 Percent of NYC Restaurants Did Not Pay Full Rent in June, Survey Says

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Plus, one in four hospitality industry workers are still unemployed — and more intel

A string of market lights hangs against a restaurant with boarded-up windows. Posted to it, there is a sign that reads, “Yes we’re open.” Gary He/Eater

Four out of five NYC restaurants did not pay full rent in June, survey says

As New York City braces itself for month four of the novel coronavirus pandemic, rent payments and lease negotiations continue to plague local restaurant and bar owners. Eighty percent of New York City restaurants and bars did not pay full rent in June, according to new a survey by the NYC Hospitality Alliance, which represents thousands of restaurants in the city.

Roughly 25 percent of the 509 restaurants and bars in the survey reported that their landlords had waived rent payments for the month of June, while another 10 percent were able to renegotiate their leases. If permanent closures across the city are any indication, though, limited support from landlords is not enough to sustain NYC restaurants. “Rent is putting enormous financial pressure on restaurants, bars and clubs after four near-fatal months of economic disaster,” the Alliance’s executive director Andrew Rigie said in a statement.

Though outdoor dining may provide a boost to restaurants in the coming month, some owners voiced disappointed at the recent postponement of indoor dining, in the face of months-long reduced sales. While the Hospitality Alliance and restaurateurs recognize the need to push back indoor dining due to rising novel coronavirus cases in other states, the Alliance is calling on public officials to step in and provide more rent and outdoor dining support.

Jobs are on the rise, Labor Department says, but one in four hospitality workers are still unemployed

The U.S. gained 4.8 million jobs in June, the Labor Department said today, sending the unemployment rate down to 11.1 percent, but the report showed that the hospitality industry remains in a precarious state. National jobless numbers in food and drinking places dropped to 24.1 percent; that’s a massive improvement from May’s rate of 32.3 percent, but the number still reflects an industry with millions out of work and with more headwinds to come.

The the data largely excludes layoffs from bar or restaurant shutdowns following recent virus surges in California, Texas, Florida, and elsewhere. More specific New York jobs data for bars and restaurants will be released later this month, shortly before — or after — Congress decides whether to reauthorize the $600 pandemic checks that expire at the end of July.

With additional reporting by Ryan Sutton.

In other news

— Barry Dry, CEO of Parched Hospitality Group, is preparing to open a third location of Hole in the Wall at Hotel Henri in the Flatiron District, a space formerly occupied by Rodos from Emeril Lagasse. The Aussie-inspired restaurant and cafe will have indoor and outdoor space and is due to be unveiled July 10. Dry is also taking over the hotel’s penthouse and plans to open a bar called the Sentry later this summer.

— Hip Italian-American restaurants Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones now offer outdoor dining, with reservations available through Resy, a spokesperson for the company says.

— Many of the boardwalk restaurants at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways have reopened for outdoor dining and takeout cocktails ahead of the July 4th weekend.

— New Jersey officials have legalized betting on the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest, set to air on ESPN this Saturday at noon.

— Gowanus favorite Threes Brewing has launched a fancy new online store with customer rewards programs and beer delivery subscriptions.

— Bushwick’s newest bar has indoor shuffleboard courts and “dystopian” decor, according to local publication Bushwick Daily.

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Additional reporting by Beth Landman