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NYC’s New Vaccine Mandate for Kids Has Some Restaurateurs Up in Arms

Plus, new proposed guidelines for restaurant outdoor structures — and more intel

One of the city’s many mask requirement signs.
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

In light of the omicron variant, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday, that as of December 14, children between the ages of five and 11 must now show proof of at least one vaccine dose when dining inside at restaurants. As of December 27, anyone over the age of 12 must show proof of two doses of the vaccine to dine indoors. These measures come in tandem with a new citywide requirement that all employees working in the private sector must receive two doses by December 27.

But, according to Gothamist, some restaurant owners feel that the measure could further hurt the industry. The publication spoke to several restaurateurs — plus industry trade group the NYC Hospitality Alliance — who see the new mandates as yet another way policing vaccine status falls to workers. Some also referenced that NYC is gearing up for an influx of tourism around the holidays, and international visitors dining at restaurants with their children may not come from countries where the vaccine is available to those under 12 years old, further complicating the ability to allow diners inside and make money during a key season for recovery.

More changes underway for the city’s outdoor dining structures

While the city’s Open Streets program is now permanent, Gothamist reports that the city’s Department of Transportation is proposing several changes restaurants must now make to their outdoor dining structures stay in compliance with the city. The tentative guidelines include requiring that outdoor structures must be able to dissemble to allow for street cleaning, and that they must not be entirely enclosed. Likewise, DOT has proposed that restaurants will have start paying the city to use the public space for their structures, though this is not likely to go into effect until 2023.

A bakery with an ever-growing waitlist launches special-edition cookie tins

Doris Ho-Kane’s Vietnamese American bakery Bạn Bè hasn’t officially opened yet, but it already has a waitlist of 10,000 deep for her cookies. But those eager to try one of Ho-Kane’s treats can cut the line by preordering cookie tins for pick-up on Saturday, December 11 from the Bạn Bè walk-up window in Carroll Gardens at 187 Sackett Street. The tins will feature the usual flavors (coconut pandan, black sesame ube, and ca phe crunch), with addition of a special cherry condensed milk cookie in honor of a collaboration with the publication Cherry Bombe.

Some rent relief for Coney Island boardwalk businesses is on the way

Last month it was reported that Coney Island’s boardwalk would be getting a makeover, for the first time in nearly a century. Now, the City reports that restaurants such as Paul’s Daughter, Tom’s Coney Island, and Ruby’s Bar & Grill will likely see rent reductions. However, not all boardwalk businesses were included in the deal.

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