Indoor Dining Allowed At 25% Capacity For NYC Restaurants

New York City restaurants are welcoming diners back inside for the first time in months; CBS2's Dave Carlin reports.

Video Transcript

- Still in the midst of this pandemic, another step towards normalcy today. New York City restaurants welcome diners back inside for the first time in months.

- Indoor dining resuming today in the five boroughs at 25% capacity. CBS 2's Dave Carlin live on Restaurant Row on the West side with more tonight, Dave.

DAVE CARLIN: Christine and Maurice, well, we have 25%. So we have the tables set and the doors open. And that does get some customers in out of the cold. But the restaurant owners say this, long term, just won't cut it.

LINDA SOLOMON: 25% is not great.

DAVE CARLIN: Lugging supplies into Jasmine's Caribbean Cuisine on West Fulton Street was owner Linda Solomon, who had hoped she could set more tables and allow more people inside. Now capacity is 25%. And before the weekend is over, hours get extended from the current 10:00 PM to 11:00. The closing time change was announced Friday by Governor Cuomo as statewide, with New York City included, gift effective Valentine's Day, Sunday.

LINDA SOLOMON: Anything that can bring in more business and help our workers.

- I'm so glad to be inside, because it's-- it's so cold.

- I missed it. And I'm excited.

- I think it's way overdue.

DAVE CARLIN: Declines in the COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalizations are white Governor Cuomo eased restrictions. But he stopped short of extending restaurant hours to midnight, which many restaurant owners were pushing for. But some rules are still different in New York City compared to New York state. So there is still confusion.

You have roadways that are dividing lines, like Jericho Turnpike, with Nassau County on the one side and Queens over here. And that has put places like Nancy's Restaurant at a competitive disadvantage.

VICTORIA FOUR: I have in Nassau County zip code. I'm just city line.

DAVE CARLIN: Owner Victoria Four for has suffered with no indoor dining allowed at Nancy's Restaurant. While on the other side of the line, Michael McGuire could seat people inside his Trinity Restaurant and Bar. Now he's at 50%, while she gets the 25.

MICHAEL MCGUIRE: Nancy's was in a tougher position that us and-- and a few of the other businesses. So we all-- we all try to support her.

VICTORIA FOUR: It's tough. But it's-- we're all getting into a better place now.

DAVE CARLIN: And right now we still have the outdoor dining set up because it's for those who remain uncomfortable about going inside just yet. Live in Hell's Kitchen along Restaurant Row, Dave Carlin, CBS 2 News.

- All right, Dave, thank you.