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Some Restaurant Owners In NYC, New Jersey Say 50% Capacity Is Still Not Enough

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Starting March 19, restaurants in New York City and New Jersey can increase indoor dining up to 50%, but some say it's still not enough; CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has more.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Restaurants in New York City and New Jersey can increase indoor dining capacity up to 50%.

MAURICE DUBOIS: But some say it's still not enough. CBS2's political reporter Marcia Kramer live tonight inside Mario's on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Marcia?

MARCIA KRAMER: Well, Maurice and Kristine, it's not that restaurant owners in New York City and New Jersey aren't grateful for the increase in indoor dining, because they are. But if you own a small restaurant, like Mario's here on Arthur Avenue, it's really difficult to add more tables when they still have to be six feet apart. Owner Regina DelFino says something has got to change.

REGINA DELFINO: 50% is great, but I'd like to know how I can do that with the same size space, when you still have to have six feet apart. The math doesn't work.

MARCIA KRAMER: So you think that it's a good move but you need more?

REGINA DELFINO: It's a good move, but we have to lessen the space. Even if we had three feet between each table we would be able to get more people in here and still keep them safe, I believe. And, you know, Westchester's at 75% and Connecticut's going to 100%, so why are we so far behind?

MARCIA KRAMER: But customers are thrilled.

MARITZA ARROYO: Fantastic. I mean, it's time. It's time. But, you know, we still have to be careful, with what's going on.

MELODY STERN: I'm so happy that we don't have to eat outside and be cold, and we have a nice environment inside.

JULIE BROWN: That's good for the business, for the restaurant business. That's a good thing.

- Yeah.

JULIE BROWN: A lot of people have been suffering, so thank God.

- It's a blessing that things are coming back slowly, so I'm grateful.

MARCIA KRAMER: The governors of New York and New Jersey say they were able to increase indoor dining because hospitalizations and infection rates have continued to go down. And they say it's time to reopen the economy.

Live at Mario's on Arthur Avenue, I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS2 News.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: All right, Marcia. Thank you.