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President Biden’s Pandemic Relief Bill Could Grant NY Largest Chunk of $25B in Restaurant Aid

Plus, East Village Hawaiian restaurant Noreetuh is hosting dinners for out-of-work restaurant staffers — and more intel

Outdoor Service Continues Through Winter In New York City Due To Pandemic Restrictions
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill reportedly favors New York restaurants
Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images

Biden’s COVID-19 rescue package reportedly favors NY restaurants

President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package reportedly includes $25 billion for the restaurant industry with a large proportion of it reportedly going to New York restaurants, the New York Post has learned.

Details of this provision are still in the works, a source told the Post, but restaurants could receive up to $10 million in grants that they wouldn’t need to pay back unless they shut down after receiving the grant. At that point, the grant would turn into a low-interest loan, but the terms for that haven’t been revealed. There’s also no minimum loss threshold for businesses to apply, and the grant amounts will be calculated based on lost revenue since the start of the pandemic-related shutdowns.

Biden’s rescue plan won’t allow restaurants or chains with more than 20 locations to apply, a criticism that was levied against the initial version of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, where chains received millions of dollars. Congress is still hammering out the details of this latest rescue effort, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — the senior senator from New York — reportedly pressed Biden to include the relief package for restaurants.

When Biden’s rescue package was first announced back in January, relief for the restaurant industry still remained unclear. The restaurant industry has been repeatedly calling for the approval of the much larger $120 billion RESTAURANTS Act to aid the industry’s recovery efforts, though Biden’s rescue plan would still come as a much-needed boost. Meanwhile, several restaurants have applied to the last round of the Paycheck Protection Program passed by the Trump administration last year.

In other news

— Some additional Valentine’s Day boxes are now available for the collaboration between Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman and baker Melissa Weller, at Williamsburg’s Gertie. The $40 box — which includes items like chocolate marzipan babka, and a chocolate peanut butter cup — sold out within hours yesterday.

— Connecticut lawmakers have introduced a bill to make pizza the state’s official food. It’s already received some hostile responses from pizza aficionados in New York and New Jersey.

— East Village Hawaiian restaurant Noreetuh is hosting a dinner series for out-of-work restaurant employees across the city. Each week the restaurant will serve a free dinner to a worker either for takeout or dine-in on the restaurant’s patio. The recipient of the free meal can then nominate the subsequent week’s dinner recipient.

— French bakery Maman is hosting a Valentine’s Day pop-up at its Little Italy outpost, at 237 Center Street, between Grand and Broome Streets, according to a spokesperson for the establishment. The pop-up will run February 8 through 14 and feature items like white chocolate raspberry rose cookies and red velvet hot chocolate.

— Grub Street profiled Danny Castañeda and his growing nut-butter business, which now includes several restaurant clients.

— LOL: