Some restaurants report sales dropped by 90 to 100 percent in January 2021
New survey data is out about the pandemic’s economic impact on restaurants and bars so far. Of the nearly 400 businesses surveyed, 75 percent of respondents saw their sales decline by more than half from 2019 to 2020, according to a report conducted by the NYC Hospitality Alliance, a non-profit that represents thousands of food businesses citywide.
Predictably, the winter months were even worse: Half of respondents say revenues dropped by 90 to 100 percent in January 2021 compared to the same time the year before, likely due to a combination of cold weather, indoor dining restrictions, and businesses temporarily closing for the winter.
Employee payroll and rent payments continue to be determining factors for restaurants on the verge of closing. More than 40 percent of respondents say their business will not survive without significant financial aid and government policies to help cover those costs.
Amid a statewide vaccination rollout, New Yorkers are returning to restaurants and bars, both as workers in their kitchens and as customers in their dining rooms. Still, a full economic recovery in New York City could take years due to delays in state and federal aid for small businesses and an ongoing decline in tourism numbers. More than 1,000 restaurants have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic, according to survey data last August, but experts and state officials say that number is likely much higher.
In other news
— Ed’s Lobster Bar, chef Ed McFarland’s popular seafood spot, is moving into a larger space at 155 Grand Street and is expected to open in May. The new location is a corner spot with open windows and the restaurant’s outdoor capacity will increase from 14 to 50 people. Staples like lobster rolls and lobster ramen will come return, as will new dishes like egg tostadas and shrimp and grits. Beth Landman contributed reporting
— The Meat Hook team is bringing its popular burger to Greenpoint next week. Co-owner Ben Turley tells Eater the restaurant will be opening a new burger counter at Threes Brewing in Greenpoint on March 29, similar to its set-up counter at Threes Brewing in Gowanus.
— Nomad newcomer Marks Off Madison has last-minute Passover needs covered. The restaurant is taking orders for matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket, and more for takeout and delivery. Email email@example.com to order with 48 hours advance notice.
— A woman was removed from Essex Market on Tuesday evening after addressing an employee of Davidovich Bakery with racial slurs and expletives.
— Time Out steps inside a Novel Kitchen, a three-in-one business that sells records, used books, and challah french toast.
If you’re over 35 hire movers. You’re friends are too old. Nobody wants to slip a disc for pizza and 2 bud lights— Graham Kay (@mrgrahamkay) March 23, 2021
Disclosure: Eater has a video series, Prime Time, hosted by Ben Turley and Brent Young of the Meat Hook.