NYC restaurants threaten to sue New York state over indoor dining

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NEW YORK CITY — New York City is the only municipality in the state without indoor dining. And because of it, a local hospitality group is ready to sue.

Usa Diner in Rosedale, Queens normally has a 185 person capacity. It’s been reduced to just 10 outside tables.

“Two blocks down the street any restaurant you walk into you can go inside, take your time enjoy your meal,” said Marc Hasmatally, the diner’s nighttime manager.

Restaurants and bars just down the street, like USA Diner, located on the border of Queens and Nassau County, can have diners indoors; indoor dining resumed with restrictions back in June.

“The question is, what is keeping us from reopening? What are they doing that we can’t?” Hasmatally asked.

You can even see Valley Stream, Long Island from the diner.

“That’s very frustrating,” said Hasmatally. “They’re opened up for indoor dining. Where we are here just a few hundred feet and we’re not”

The New York City Hospitality Alliance said it’s outraged over the lack of direction, or at least a timetable, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Now, they’re threatening to sue the state.

“All options are on the table,” Andrew Rigie, the group’s executive director, said. “This is our plea to work cooperatively to get a plan ASAP to open indoors.”

The governor has said he’s resistant to open indoor dining in the city due to rowdy scenes of large crowds with no regard for social distancing, and laid the blame on the mayor for lack of proper enforcement.

“Any system that’s relying on 150 sheriffs to do the job of 30,000 NYPD,” he said, “is flawed.”

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