With indoor dining allowed in New York City on Friday the message from restaurants is Welcome Back! Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier in the week that indoor restaurant dining can reopen at 25% capacity two days before Valentine's Day. (Feb. 12)
LUCA GUAITOLINI: Just we're extremely excited to see how it goes. And we hope that the city sees that, you know, it's essential that people go out and enjoy themselves during these times, you know, when they choose to. People need this now more than ever. A chance to relax, and a small reprieve from all the stress of this whole period. This 25% is the start, and I hope it's the beginning of something where we can expand again, and not just a token like it was before, that they might take away if the numbers go on the rise again.
When the news broke about the pandemic, we had to basically put everyone on unemployment. We closed the restaurant. We only reopened in August. And when we did, it was with, again, a skeleton crew. You know, just from a staff of 35, 36 people, we were down to maybe 14 or 15, all on rotating shifts so that everybody could kind of get a piece of the pie. It was like cutting the business into quarters.
So now with the indoor, we're going to bring, hopefully, most of them back. And that's just a huge boost to morale. Everyone gets to see some old faces. People in the neighborhood are looking forward to seeing their old waiters. It's going to be good. You know, considering most of the rest of the state is at 50%, we feel it's unfair. Considering the low numbers in Manhattan especially, we should probably be at 50 now too. But it's infinitely better than what we've been allowed so far.