While restaurants navigate the latest COVID-19 wave hitting the city, ongoing debates over NYC’s permanent outdoor dining plans are continuing to heat up. Gothamist reports that community board leaders — many of whom are against permanent outdoor dining due in part to noise and sanitation issues — have been pushing the city’s Department of Transportation for more power in deciding the parameters of individual restaurants’s outdoor setups. They are advocating for the ability to sign off on each restaurant’s proposed structure, according to Gothamist, which may add extra time to the overall approval process.
As the DOT and other stakeholders hammer out the specifics of the permanent outdoor dining program, restaurants and diners in the city are being reminded this month of why the program was so significant in its initial emergency phases. NYC is grappling with another wave of COVID-19 cases, causing some restaurants to pause indoor dining and shut down their operations temporarily in light of the public health crisis.
City Winery starts requiring negative COVID-19 test for entry
In light of the COVID-19 surge in NYC, music venue-slash-urban winery City Winery rolled out a new policy over the weekend that all concert ticket holders must show a negative PCR test results within the previous 24 hours or a rapid test taken within six hours of the event. There will be a limited amount of rapid tests on-site that customers can take, according to the company, but those tests come with a $40 food and drink minimum. The policy is in place through Tuesday, according to a representative for the company.
Barbecue chain Mighty Quinn’s plots Brooklyn takeover
Smoked meats favorite Mighty Quinn is expanding to both Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg with two new restaurants slated to open next summer, Commercial Observer reports. The chain currently runs seven locations in New York, with an eighth outpost upcoming in Forest Hills.
Economy Candy hit by peppermint shortage
Most recently, NYC bagel shops couldn’t get their cream cheese. Now, Economy Candy can’t get its candy. The New York Post reports that Lower East Side institution Economy Candy only received half of its candy cane order for the holiday season due to a peppermint shortage and already sold out of the 12,000-plus candies that it had. “We can’t really do a gingerbread house without a candy cane tree, a candy cane door, or candy cane anything,” owner Mitchell Cohen tells the Post.