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Staten Island Bar Calling Itself an ‘Autonomous Zone’ Reopens and Will Sue State

Plus, fast casual Indian chain Inday reopens its Nomad flagship today — and more intel

An aerial photograph of three glasses of beer, which increase in darkness from left to right Bon Appetit/Shutterstock
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Staten Island bar that declared itself an ‘autonomous zone’ reopens

Mac’s Public House, the Staten Island bar that drew national media attention for disregarding public health safety regulations and declaring itself an “autonomous zone” last year, is reopening this week for the first time since December, according to the New York Post. In conjunction with the reopening, bar owner Daniel Presti said at a press conference on Monday that he plans to sue New York state in an attempt to allow the bar to operate until 4 a.m., instead of the current 11 p.m. curfew.

The bar is already mired in legal trouble stemming from Presti’s previous refusal to comply with operating restrictions during the pandemic. In late November, Presti declared the bar an autonomous zone and allowed customers to sit inside while indoor dining was banned in the city. Days later, Presti was arrested for his actions, then released shortly after, and then arrested again later that week for allegedly driving his car into a deputy sheriff. A grand jury didn’t indict Presti on assault charges stemming from the incident, according to the Post, but he was charged with operating without a license after the State Liquor Authority yanked it in response to Presti’s flouting of pandemic operating regulations.

As the bar reopens this week, it again will not be following any health safety mandates like requiring masks, according to Presti.

In other news

— A 13,000-square-foot outpost of grocer City Acres opens on the ground floor of the Jacx development in Long Island City.

— The East Village location of Joe’s Steam Rice Roll appears to have permanently closed. The location has been put up for rent on real estate site RIPCO, EV Grieve reports.

— Fast casual Indian chain Inday is reopening its flagship location in Nomad today with a new menu and a refreshed restaurant design.

— Dago Cruz, a member of the kitchen team at buzzy West Village spot Dame, recounts through photos shared with Resy what the last year has been like for him and his family.

— Yunnan restaurant Dian Kitchen has permanently shut down after three years in the East Village.

— Need dinner plans? Done: