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New York’s Hospitality Industry May Not Fully Recover Until 2026, State Says

Plus, a Crown Heights cafe raises money to open in a new space — and more intel

A table set with dinnerware and condiments can be seen through the glass window of a restaurant.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sectors is still down 30 percent from pre-pandemic levels.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It could be as many as four more years before New York’s leisure and hospitality industries bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, according to state officials. “While other sectors have improved markedly, the retail, wholesale, and leisure and hospitality and other services sectors lag the most in their recoveries and are not projected to recover before 2026,” Gov. Kathy Hochul shared in a presentation of her proposed state budget on Tuesday.

It’s a chilling possibility for the state’s leisure and hospitality sectors, which include restaurants, hotels, nightlife venues, and other businesses. The industries have been especially hard hit over the last years due to lower tourism numbers and ongoing restrictions on travel and dining. According to state budget director Robert Mujica, employment in those sectors still down 30 percent from pre-pandemic levels. “They are recovering the slowest,” he said at the conference on Tuesday.

A Crown Heights restaurant fundraises for a new space

Crown Heights cafe Ursula is looking for a new home. The restaurant, known for its breakfast burritos and queer pop-ups, announced on Instagram this week that its lease at 724 Sterling Place, near Bedford Avenue, would come to an end later this year. Owner Eric See is now looking to raise $78,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of signing a new lease. “Operating in a pandemic has margins extremely tight and leaves no room for excess capital to move our business to a new location,” he wrote in the post.

A new Taiwanese restaurant hosts a pop-up ahead of its full opening

Eric Sze, co-owner of the East Village’s rowdy 886 restaurant, is opening a second spot in Greenpoint next month, called Wenwen. The chef tells Greenpointers that he’s looking to open on February 1 — if the restaurant’s liquor license comes through in time — but this weekend he’s hosting a pop-up out of the space with Vietnamese-French pastry business Bánh by Lauren. Swing by Wenwen at 1025 Manhattan Avenue, near Green Street, this Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon, for bánh bò, macarons, and more.

Brooklyn Fare is coming to town

The signs have gone up at the Brooklyn Fare supermarket in Manhattan’s Two Bridges neighborhood. The upscale grocer with four other locations in New York City has been coming together since 2012, according to Bowery Boogie, when real estate company Extell Development purchased the land and demolished Pathmark, one of the neighborhood’s few full-sized supermarkets. Brooklyn Fare, located on the first two floors of the One Manhattan Square skyscrapers, is slated to open later this year.

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