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Over 60 Percent of NY Restaurants Could Close By Next Year, Survey Says

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Plus, Frenchette and Estela offer new menus from the Rockefeller Center ice rink starting today — and more intel

The front of a restaurant door is covered in plywood, with a small cut-out area for the lock and door handle Gary He/Eater

A new survey finds that more than 60 percent of restaurants could close by 2021

As many as two-thirds of the state’s restaurants and bars could permanently close by the end of the year if they do not receive substantial government aid, according to a new survey from the New York State Restaurant Association. The survey — based on responses from 1,042 of the state’s more than 50,000 eating establishments — found that 63.6 percent of restaurateurs were “likely” or “somewhat likely” to close in the next four months. More than half of those respondents said they would be forced to close their doors before November if they do not receive some form of financial relief.

Many restaurants received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program earlier in the year, but establishments continue to close their doors as that money runs out and further financial aid still isn’t available.

Surveys like those from the NYSRA are just predictions, but they’re also some of the best measures of the pandemic’s toll on the hospitality industry right now, given that there’s no state or federal agency documenting restaurant closures in real time. Earlier this year, the NYSRA predicted that as many as 11 percent of the state’s restaurants and bars — roughly 5,500 businesses — would close by the end of April due to COVID-19. In all reality, though, experts say that number is likely much higher and will only continue to rise without a clear roadmap for indoor dining or substantial government intervention, including the $120 billion bill to support independent restaurants.

In other news

— Two of the city’s hottest restaurants have set-up shop at the Rockefeller Center’s iconic skating rink. Frenchette, the James Beard Foundation’s best new restaurant of the year in 2019, will serve a French picnic on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Michelin-starred Estela will serve one with snacks and seafood. The picnics require reservations and cost $125 per person for groups of four, six, or eight, not including drinks and alcohol. No walk-up seating.

— Earlier in the pandemic, NYC’s popular brunch chain Sarabeth’s shuttered its decades-old Upper East Side location, prompting concerns about the restaurant’s other locations in the city. This week, local blog West Side Rag reports that Sarabeth’s on the Upper West Side will finally reopen its doors.

— Skipped meals. Days without wifi. Countless tweets and Tiktoks. Incoming NYU students share their experiences living in the campus’s dorms during quarantine, which can cost as much as $20,000 in room and board.

— Lower East Side grocery store and sandwich shop Orchard Grocer has reopened its deli counter for takeout and delivery at 78 Orchard Street, near Broome Street.

— The State Liquor Authority (still) doesn’t want you doing karaoke.

— Co-sign:

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