EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — Remember when there was no indoor dining in New York City?
Believe it or not, that was only February of this year. Eventually, restaurants opened back up at 25% capacity, then growing to 50%. Things like tables being separated and more outdoor fixtures in place.
The restaurant industry has been struggling for 16 months. Tuesday night, restrictions have been lifted for restaurants. But many places are keeping them in place, at least for the time being.
Since the middle of May, restaurants have been at 100% capacity with six feet between parties or if barriers are installed.
Darcie Siciliano is the owner of East Harlem Bottling Company on Lexington Avenue.
“We are excited to get back to normal, but we are not rushing it,” she said.
They’re going to keep barriers and some of the rules in place for the time being.
Lou Martins owns Bistro Casa Azul on Pleasant Avenue.
“More people are comfortable and vaccinated these days,” he said.
Outdoor dining on the sidewalk and curbside will continue. The city is working on new guidelines for structures and locations.
Current locations should be able to remain in place through 2022 and then they will have to reapply.