Update: On September 9th, Governor Cuomo announced that NYC restaurants can open for indoor dining at a reduced 25% capacity, starting on September 30th. You can find more details here.
Beginning Wednesday, September 9th, you can hang out inside of a mall in New York City. You’ll also be able to hit the slots at a casino anywhere in New York state. But, much to the frustration of restaurant owners and industry leaders, there’s still no timeline for reopening NYC’s restaurants for indoor dining - which has even prompted some to organize a march on City Hall on September 14th.
There is, however, a whole lot of tension between the state and the city. In a press conference on Thursday, September 3rd, Governor Cuomo insisted that he would be the one to make the call on indoor dining, not the mayor. And yet, just one day prior, Mayor de Blasio said he would announce a decision about indoor dining “in the month of September.”
Cuomo went on to confirm that he wants NYC restaurants to open indoor dining but worries there aren’t enough resources for proper compliance enforcement, especially of bars.
The governor said that the State doesn’t have any additional resources to beef up the task force of State Liquor Authority investigators who are currently running compliance checks on NYC bars and restaurants. Instead, he’s looking to the city to deploy enforcement resources, by way of an NYPD task force. As a hypothetical, he mentioned that the city could utilize 4,000 NYPD officers to check restaurants and bars for compliance.
In response to the governor’s proposal, de Blasio offered a gentle clap back. “NYPD has a lot on its hands and they’re dealing with so many challenges. And, meanwhile, our central concern, of course, is ...where is the federal government with the stimulus?”
Then, on Tuesday September 8th, Governor Cuomo expanded on his original suggestion to deploy the NYPD, saying that health inspectors, sanitation inspectors, and any other regulatory city government workers could complete compliance checks if the police are unable. Still, Cuomo maintained that it’s up to city officials to enforce compliance of bars and restaurants in NYC, not the State.
We’ll keep updating you with more tense indoor dining developments as they arise.