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More NYC Restaurants Join Forces to Sue Cuomo Over Unpredictable Regulations

Plus, New York may extend the commercial eviction moratorium until May 1 — and more intel

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Outdoor restaurants line a West Village street on December 30, 2020 in New York City. 
Outdoor dining in the West Village
Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

NYC restaurants allege that Cuomo’s pandemic dining regulations have violated their civil rights

A group of 70 New York bars and restaurants have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo alleging that the state’s constantly changing dining regulations violate the businesses’s civil rights. According to a report from the Real Deal, many of the restaurants involved in the lawsuit — including East Williamsburg bar Our Wicked Lady and Bushwick restaurant Momo Sushi Shack — have spent thousands of dollars reconfiguring outdoor and indoor spaces to comply with pandemic health safety regulations, only to have those regulations shift without much warning and be forced to spend more money to stay in compliance.

The restaurants named in the lawsuit are seeking compensatory and punitive damages “for both the current and lasting impact of the Orders,” according to the complaint.

This lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal actions that the NYC restaurant industry has taken against the state government throughout the pandemic. A $500 million class action lawsuit filed in September aimed to lift indoor dining capacity in the city to 50 percent, to match dining allowances in the rest of the state, but it was thrown out in November. In December, several restaurants filed suits against Cuomo in an attempt to put a halt to the city’s second indoor dining ban, which is still ongoing.

In other news

— Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed extending New York’s commercial rent moratorium to May 1, according to the governor’s office.

— Applications open this week for a new restaurant grant program sponsored by New York’s Economic Development Corporation. The $3 million fund, which distributes up to $5,000 per qualifying full-service restaurant, can be applied to reimburse the establishments for costs associated with outdoor heaters, PPE, and building out takeout and delivery programs. Restaurant owners can use the money to reimburse payments from September 1, 2020, onward.

— Bowery Boogie put together a short rundown of restaurants that have opened up during the pandemic in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

— Mexican restaurant Corazon de Mexico in Long Island will permanently shutter on January 22, according to the mother-daughter ownership team.

— Buffalo Wild Wings in Times Square has been sued by its landlord for allegedly skipping out on over $3 million in rent, Crain’s reports.

— Babka brillance: