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FiDi Restaurants Are Struggling From Empty Offices and COVID-19 Restrictions

Plus, Harlem’s Sugar Monk is now selling its own line of amari — and more intel

Entertainment & Tourism Industries In New York City Struggle Under Pandemic Restrictions
Financial District restaurants are faced with empty streets and offices
Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

FiDi restaurants contend with empty streets and tables

With many office closed and employees continuing to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants in Manhattan’s Financial District have been particularly hard hit, AM New York reports. Many restaurant owners in the area blame Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for the current restrictions imposed on restaurants for this latest downturn.

Jarek Krukow, the general manager of Broadstone Bar and Kitchen, questioned why New York had banned indoor dining while New Jersey was still offering it at 25 percent next door. He also questioned grocery stores having a large number of customers inside while restaurants were required to keep indoor dining shut, according to AM New York. Others like Sara Barrows, the general manager of Route 66 American Kitchen and Bar, bemoaned how restaurateurs had to alter their costly outdoor dining structures after the latest guidelines were released.

The Centers for Disease Control and several medical experts still consider indoor dining to pose a high risk to the spread of the virus, a large part of what has prompted elected officials in New York to shut it down as cases rise once again in the state. Still, some operators in FiDi are optimistic. Eddie Travers, the owner of the historic Fraunces Tavern says the vaccinations coupled with another round of federal funding should help restaurants survive with the hopes of making a rebound in the fall.

In other news

— Wine educator and former wine director at Windows on the World restaurant at the original World Trade Center, Kevin Zraly, is doing a second virtual session of his Windows on the World Wine School. The six-class series begins January 25 and runs till March 1.

— Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s FiDi seafood destination the Fulton has debuted an expansive outdoor dining setup replete with heaters and views of the East River, according to a restaurant spokesperson.

— State Senator Michael Gianaris and other New York leaders are making a push to pass the New York Hero act, which would increase workplace protections for essential workers, including gig workers like drivers for third-party delivery companies.

— Harlem cocktail bar Sugar Monk is now selling its own line of amari. The 375 ml bottles start at $80 and go up to $100.

— Word: