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Some Manhattan Restaurants Still Aren’t Enforcing the Vaccine Mandate, Report Finds

Plus, East Village wine bar Ruffian gears up for a next-door expansion — and more intel

New York City Restaurants Face Continued Uncertainty Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Eleven out of 15 restaurants visited by Inside Edition were not enforcing the city’s vaccine mandate.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Eleven out of 15 Manhattan restaurants not enforcing the vaccine mandate

City officials began enforcing New York City’s vaccine mandate earlier this week, but some Manhattan restaurants have yet to get on board, according to a recent segment from Inside Edition. Producers of the television program stopped into 15 Manhattan restaurants this week claiming not to have proof of vaccination. All but four seated them indoors.

The city’s vaccine mandate — which requires restaurants, bars, and other indoor venues to check their customers for proof of vaccination — went into effect on August 16, with enforcement of the program officially beginning earlier this week. Some restaurateurs, however, especially those operating in neighborhoods with lower rates of vaccination, have expressed their reluctance to enforce the program, due to lost business and added labor.

The program is being enforced by inspectors from 13 city agencies, whose focus will reportedly be on onboarding — not fining — restaurants to start. “No one is starting this out with the intention of fining,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on September 9. “We just want people to be safe.” Restaurants who violate the mandate will eventually be subject to fines of at least $1,000 for a first offense, $2,000 for a second offense, and $5,000 for a third offense.

In other news

— Five years after opening in the East Village, Ruffian is expanding into a neighboring building previously occupied by Big Gay Ice Cream. The next-door space, which will house a raw bar and 15 additional seats, opens on September 24.

— Acclaimed Hudson Yards bistro the Tavern reopens this week with a new chef. The restaurant, which New York Times critic Pete Wells described as “better than it should be,” is now helmed by Linda Luo, an alum of Danny Meyer’s Intersect by Lexus.

— Hooni Kim, the chef behind the Theater District’s once-Michelin-starred restaurant Danji, is opening a Korean market and restaurant in Long Island City. The spaces, called Little Banchan Shop and Meju, are set to open at 5-28 49th Avenue early next year.

— Jackson Heights ceviche spot Mariscos El Submarino offers “a ton of seafood for not a lot of money,” Gothamist finds.

— The New Yorker visits CheLi, a spirited and somewhat “erratic” exploration of Shanghainese cuisine.

— Cheers to our most misspelled word: