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Restaurant Association Demands Easing NY’s Dining Restrictions As Other Cities End Bans

Plus, Golden Diner is starting a street food dinner series running through the end of February — and more intel

Inside a restaurant with wooden floors, comfortable light and dark green chairs with tables on one side, a bar with bar stools on the other. The kitchen can be seen in the distance.
Italian restaurant Da Toscana, in Greenwich Village
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Restaurateurs want restrictions relaxed in New York after similar moves in other states

The New York State Restaurant Association is calling on the Cuomo administration to loosen restrictions on restaurants in New York following the return of indoor dining in cities like Chicago, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

NYSRA, which represents tens of thousands of restaurants across the state, is asking the state to extend the existing 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars to 12 a.m., and to resume indoor dining in New York City. Most parts of the state — except for the five boroughs — are temporarily open for limited indoor dining due to an ongoing lawsuit, but NYSRA is arguing the move should be permanent, including the restart of indoor dining in NYC.

Dozens of restaurants across the city are hibernating right now with freezing conditions and the high cost of outdoor spaces making it difficult for restaurateurs to keep their establishments open. Industry experts predict a raft of closings without the return of indoor dining and have cited the state’s own data — that restaurants and bars in the state accounted for 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases in the last three months of 2020 — to justify their calls for the reopening. The state, on its part, continues to cite the density of NYC and potential for the spread of the virus to keep indoor dining off limits.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated at a press conference Monday afternoon that while the state was looking into loosening restrictions overall it was not “contemplating any changes,” in regards to indoor dining in NYC.

In other news

— High Line-adjacent, the Standard Grill, has debuted a new outdoor dining setup along Washington Street. This all-day area serves up dishes like Swiss fondue, confit duck leg, and the Standard’s burger.

— A Queens club owner reportedly attacked sheriff’s deputies after they tried to bust an illegal basement party over the weekend.

— Greenwich Village Jamaican spot Miss Lily’s is selling meal kits. The $70 discovery box features a three-course meal with dishes like jerk chicken, jerk corn, and banana pudding.

— Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing is partnering with the grassroots movement Be An Arts Hero, in support of the country’s arts and culture workers. Other Half has released the Arts Hero IPA ($16 for a four pack), which is available for curbside pickup at all four of its locations and for delivery in Washington, D.C. A part of the proceeds will go to the volunteer-run arts group.

— Golden Diner on the Lower East Side is hosting an Asian street food dinner series outdoors with some of the top newcomers in the city. Starting this weekend and running through the end of February, chef Samuel Yoo will collaborate with other chefs like Helen Nguyen of Saigon Social and Justin Lee of Fat Choy for the four-course, $60 per-person dinner series, which is available for takeout as well. Tickets, available on Resy, starting are now live for the first weekend.

— The infamous Staten Island bar owner who refused to close despite the city’s shutdown orders won’t be charged for allegedly driving into a sheriff’s deputy.

— The Astoria smoke shop that recently sold a $1 million lottery ticket has seen a massive spike in customers following the sale.

— Die-hard New Yorkers looking to meet up with friends are still braving the frigid conditions to eat outdoors right now.

— We could get behind this:

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