NEW YORK – Powerless. That’s what John Demos feels when he looks at his empty dining room in the Cosmic Diner. He’s been the manager here since the restaurant opened 15 years ago in the Theater District.
“It hurts me inside, but what you’re going to do, there’s nothing I can do. I can’t change anything, ”Demos said.
What would you like to know
- The second stoppage of indoor meals in the five boroughs entered into force on Monday
- Bar and restaurant owners say closure makes no sense as state data shows indoor dining accounts for less than 2% of COVID cases
- Industry Executives Also Call On Congress To Pass Restaurant Law, $ 120 Billion In Direct Support To Restaurant Owners
Demos cannot host an outdoor meal on the street due to a bus stop on Eighth Avenue in front of the restaurant. He says if this ban on eating indoors the second of the pandemic lasts for more than a month, dinner may not survive.
“It’s going to be bankruptcy, that’s it,” Demos said. “There’s nothing you can do about it yet.”
Hundreds of bar and restaurant owners across town expressed those same frustrations on Tuesday.
They gathered in Times Square and then marched to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, demanding that he allow meals back inside. They say the ban makes no sense because the state’s own data shows indoor dining accounts for less than 2% of COVID cases.
“What is going to happen, how can we survive, we have all the owners after us, the vendors and most important all these families, all of my employees have children and it’s two weeks before Christmas”, said Susana Osorio, owner of a restaurant.
Industry executives say thousands of bars and restaurants in the city have already closed and many more may not survive the new indoor eating ban.
They are also asking Congress to approve the Restaurant Act, $ 120 billion in direct aid to restaurants to pay their rent, vendors and other expenses. They also want the state to allow restaurants to keep their quarterly sales taxes due this week.
“These are the hardworking small business owners who are the backbone of our city, the fabric of our nation, of our society. They need support because they are losing their livelihood, ”said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
Meanwhile, people like John Demos are running out of time and hope.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to make a living. I’m afraid, I’m not afraid that we move on, “he added.