GRAMMERCY PARK, Manhattan — New York City restaurants are a week away from a capacity increase from 35% to 50%.
The weekend got off to a good start in the city with warm temperatures. One year ago on this Friday in March, the first set of restaurant capacity restrictions was put in place by the state.
Molly’s Shebeen Pub and Restaurant has reopened on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s Gramercy neighborhood. Its days as pub go back more than 100 years.
Owner Pete O’Connell says the increased capacity is important and they’re looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s nice to get a revenue flow. This is a bridge,” he said.
Restaurants had to find creative ways to engage with guests. Outdoor dining has been a success. However, many small businesses have closed.
Ollin in East Harlem hosts painting nights and Jonathan Perez uses social media to entertain and keep customers hungry for more.
“People want to get out of their houses,” he said.
Health restrictions and social distancing rules are still in place.