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Citi Field in Queens Will Open as a Vaccination Hub for Food Service Workers, Among Other Groups

Plus, fast casual chain Mexicue launches a new delivery-only restaurant this week — and more intel

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Citi Field Stadium is seen after coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination center at Citi Field postponed due to lack of vaccine supply in Queens of New York City, United States on January 25, 2021.  Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Citi Field in Queens converted into vaccination site with focus on food service workers, among other groups

The Mets baseball stadium in Queens, Citi Field, has been converted into a mass COVID-19 vaccination site opening this week, the mayor announced yesterday. The site will focus on providing vaccinations for Queens residents, food service workers, and taxi drivers — with 50 percent of its vaccine supply going to borough residents and 50 percent to the other two groups. The site opens at 10 a.m. on February 10 with the goal of staying open 24/7 Wednesday through Saturday afterwards.

Some food service workers are already experiencing problems with securing vaccination appointments at the site, however. One food delivery worker told the City that the scheduling system declined him because he did not have a Queens residency address, even though Citi Field’s vaccination site is open to food service workers from all five boroughs. Another Queens restaurant worker tried “all day” on Monday to secure appointments at Citi Field for staffers at the restaurant where she works but had no luck, according to the City.

As restaurant and food delivery workers struggle with scheduling vaccinations, the return to indoor dining is moving full steam ahead in the city. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that indoor dining can now return in NYC on Friday, February 12, two days earlier than previously planned, leaving less time for food service workers to secure first round vaccinations before indoor dining begins.

In other news

— After mounting backlash to the upcoming eviction of Associated supermarket on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, potentially creating a food desert in that area of the neighborhood, the developer behind the move has promised to replace Associated with another grocer and more affordable housing.

— Real estate developer Tishman Speyer is trying to kick out Pret A Manger from 300 Park Avenue, between East 49th and 50th Streets. A lawsuit filed by the developer claims that the sandwich chain’s lease in the space expired in June, but Pret never left the building, and the company now owes $401,908 “in late charges and other fees,” according to Commercial Observer.

Blake Lane, a new delivery-only pop-up from fast casual chain Mexicue, is launching on February 10 in NYC, according to a restaurant spokesperson. The spot — a revival of a former brick-and-mortar restaurant on the Upper East Side — sells sandwiches, salads, soups, and cocktails for delivery in Manhattan, from Grand Street up to 70th Street.

Lauded Iranian chef Nasrin Rejali has put together a Valentine’s Day feast for two for $120 involving eight dishes, including ash-e anar, or pomegranate soup; sour cherry rice with pistachios, saffron, and sugar; baghali polo mahiche, or rice with broad beans, lamb shank, dill, and saffron; and saffron pistachio brownies. Takeout and delivery options are available; pre-orders are currently open here.

— The Coco Fund, a nonprofit that provides micro-grants to hospitality workers in need, has launched a Valentine’s Day campaign where donors can send online Valentine’s Day cards to their favorite restaurants with any donation to the fund. The campaign lasts through the end of February.

— Celebrate every win: