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Struggling Times Square Restaurants Buoyed by News of Broadway Reopening Plans

Plus, Michelin-starred Tribeca restaurant Bâtard reopens this week — and more intel

A view outside Carmine’s in Times Square on December 23, 2020 in New York City. 
Carmine’s in Times Square
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

Times Square restaurants gear up for reopening timed to Broadway’s return

In welcome news for hard-hit restaurants that rely on tourism traffic in Manhattan’s Theater District, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that Broadway theaters can reopen at full capacity starting September 14. At least two Times Square restaurants, Italian mainstay Carmine’s and barbecue spot Virgil’s, have already announced September reopenings timed to the return of Broadway shows, according to a press representative for the restaurants.

Times Square and Broadway-adjacent restaurants have been struggling for over a year to survive amid huge drop-offs in tourism and low foot traffic in the neighborhood due to the pandemic. Last fall, the local nonprofit Times Square Alliance hosted a restaurant week for hundreds of area businesses to generate some revenue while theaters remained closed. According to the Alliance, Times Square has seen a recent uptick in traffic, with an average of 185,000 daily pedestrians in the past few weeks, but it is still a far cry from the pre-pandemic average of 365,000 pedestrians per day. However, the reopening of Broadway is another helpful step toward economic recovery in the area.

“With the announcement that Broadway is able to open fully in September, we join the Broadway League in cautious optimism that we will be able to welcome back more visitors and diners safely to Times Square,” Tom Harris, the acting president and chief operating officer of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. “Times Square will not be fully back until Broadway is back, and New York City will not be fully back until Times Square is back.”

In other news

— East Village hot dog hotspot Crif Dogs has reopened for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

— Time Out Market in Dumbo — home to outposts of buzzy NYC restaurants including Fish Cheeks and Chote Miya (from the Gupshup team) — is reopening this month after a winter hiatus.

— Sichuan dry pot specialist MáLà Project has teamed up with buzzy Bed-Stuy tortilleria and cafe For All Things Good for a collaboration taco menu in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Customers can find tacos with popcorn chicken, braised pork with pickled cabbage, and hot and sour potato salad at both MáLà Project locations through Sunday, May 9.

— Longing for the days before Keith McNally got on Instagram.

— Upper West Side Chinese restaurant the Cottage appears to be relocating to the former home of Cuban-Chinese fixture La Caridad.

— Tribeca’s Michelin-starred French restaurant Bâtard is reopening this week.

— Same:

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