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New York Restaurants Are Bracing for a Bleak Winter, Survey Says

Plus, Bushwick’s Drip Coffee is adding a Manhattan location — and more intel

People dine at an outdoor restaurant located on the street in lower Manhattan.
Winter is coming.
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Restaurants in New York are buckling in for more months of sales declines as operators gear up for another tough winter season. According to a new industry survey published by the New York State Restaurant Association, 67 percent of restaurant owners expect that business conditions will not “return to normal” for at least another year, while 18 percent of operators estimate that business will never return to pre-pandemic levels at their restaurants. 85 percent of restaurant owners experienced a decline in indoor dining customers due to the increase of COVID-19 cases stemming from the Delta variant. The survey was conducted in September 2021, and includes responses from 206 restaurateurs operating in the state.

The bleak numbers outline ongoing difficulties that restaurant owners will have to contend with for the foreseeable future. Going into the winter months, restaurants in NYC will have to make do without access to propane heaters for outdoor dining; and the state’s alcohol to-go program, a helpful sales lifeline to many businesses which was nixed over the summer.

East Broadway Mall in Chinatown faces potential closure

The East Broadway Mall, a decades-old fixture in Manhattan’s Chinatown, is at risk of permanently shutting down due to high rent and tax payments amid the ongoing pandemic, ABC7 reports. Many of the mall’s vendors, including restaurants and retail shops, have been hit hard by the crisis, forcing an avalanche of vacancies. The mall’s general manager Terry Chan, who is advocating for the city to help the longstanding space stay open, says that while the mall once housed 80 mom-and-pop vendors, it is now down to just 17 current tenants. Many businesses in NYC’s Chinatowns have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to anti-Asian violence and xenophobia on top of the economic devastation amid the public health crisis.

Crown Heights gets a new farmstand

Local politicians and community board members in Crown Heights have banded together to launch a new farmstand in the neighborhood in the wake of the contested temporary shutdown of the local Associated Supermarket. The farmstand, located on Nostrand Avenue near Sullivan Place, will sell fresh fruits and vegetables on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

One of the city’s top coffee destinations is expanding to Manhattan

Bushwick’s Drip Coffee Makers may be a relative newcomer to NYC’s coffee scene, but owner Nigel Price has quickly established a growing fanbase that is fueling new locations at a steady... drip. The shop opened a Brooklyn Heights location about six months ago, and, this week, Drip posted a photo on Instagram announcing an upcoming Manhattan location at 75 Varick Street, between Watts and Canal street, in Soho. The shop is slated to open in November, according to the post.

Tony’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is slinging the best pizza in Bushwick

Thousands of Bushwick Daily readers have spoken.

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