Fighting back: Restaurant owners in New York jam Times Square protesting shutdown of indoor dining

NEW YORK, NY – Restaurant owners are fed up with the lockdown restrictions forced on them by their elected Democratic leaders over the pandemic. 

The owners and their employees are beginning to feel the crippling losses in revenue caused by the shutdowns and have begun protesting in and around Times Square.

Hundreds of restaurant owners and employees took to the streets to voice their displeasure over being forced to shut down due to pandemic restrictions imposed on them by Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

The groups met up in historic Times Square demanding to be allowed to open and/or receive a bailout from the cash strapped state.

Protesters shouted from Father Duffy Square:

“Save our restaurants!  Save our jobs!”

The group then marched across town to Cuomo’s Midtown East office where they shut down traffic temporarily, all the while demanding that Cuomo and de Blasio allow them to open amid the pandemic. 

The president of the Latino Restaurant Bar and Lounge Association, Jeffery Garcia, said:

“The situation continues to get more and more dire, and the shutting down of indoor dining during the holidays, when New York City restaurants are providing the safety measures, is the straw that broke the camel’s back…We need action immediately.”

According to the New York Post, the shutdown of indoor dining of New York City restaurants comes after the states contract tracing data shows only 1.43% of positive COVID cases can be attributed to indoor dining. 

Top put that in perspective, according to the state’s contract tracing data, 98.57% of people who enjoy indoor dining do so without risk.

In response to the restaurant industry justifiably complaining that they are losing revenue over not being able to offer indoor dining, Cuomo points to outdoor dining and take out as options to remain in business.  However, it is New York, and it is wintertime, which means that eating outdoors is less hospitable.  Sandra Jaques, the owner of Inwood’s II Sole restaurant said:

“We were so hopeful when indoor dining was allowed again to try to keep it afloat.  But now that we’re unable to pay rent due to the shutdown, I’m afraid that I’m going to lose everything altogether.”

Sadly, Jaques is not alone in her fear that her business is going to go bankrupt over the pandemic. 

The New York State Restaurant Association released a report that showed that two-thirds of all restaurants under their purview will likely close for good by the end of 2020.  The only way that those businesses could possibly remain open is if a bail out package specific to restaurants is passed.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance also conducted a survey which found the overwhelming majority of businesses (87%) could not pay their full rent in August.  And in October, a whopping 88% was completely unable to pay their landlords even though outdoor dining was allowed.

The Alliance Executive Directors, Andrew Rigie, said that over 200,000 jobs were lost when restaurants were forced to close in March over the pandemic.  Rigie said that even though there were some jobs reclaimed after outdoor and indoor dining was established at limited capacity, those increases will most likely be whipped out with the new closures.  He said:

“Thankfully, due to limited indoor dining, outdoor dining, we’ve hired back about 100,000 people.  But guess what?  There’s tons of people still out of work and with our new shutdown, those 100,000 jobs could be back on the chopping block.”

The loss of further jobs could not come at a worse time as families are preparing for Christmas.  Susana Osorio, the owner of the Mamasushi and Mamajuana Café said:

“My employees don’t have a job, two weeks before Christmas.  It breaks my heart that all these families are not going to have money…to buy Christmas gifts for the kids.  All the employees that I have have kids. 

“And the only thing I’m asking Cuomo is please, if we’re going to stay closed, provide some funding for us.  How am I going to handle all these pressures?”

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We are being played: More politicians caught busting their own emergency orders and guidelines (op-ed)

December 3, 2020

The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Do as you are told, peasants, and do not dare question the ruling class! In the latest case of hypocrisy by the political class, San Francisco Mayor London Breed was snagged at the same exclusive French restaurant where California Gov. Gavin Newsom was previously caught violating his own COVID-19 restrictions.

The Washington Examiner reported that Breed attended a dinner at the French Laundry, an exclusive Napa County restaurant where meals cost around $350 per person. Breed went to the restaurant the day after Newsom was snagged there, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Breed’s office, trying to throw cover for her hypocrisy, said that she had attended a birthday party for a friend, so-called socialite Goretti Lo Lui on November 7 with seven other people. At the time, Napa County was not restricting the number of households who were allowed to gather.

“The Mayor has strived to follow all COVID public health rules from the beginning of the pandemic. She does this not only because she is asking for residents to do their part, but also because she is trying to do her part to slow the spread of the disease.

“On November 7, while taking a few days off after the election, she attended a small family birthday dinner for a friend at an open-air table at the French Laundry. There were eight people in total, including herself. The Mayor paid for her own dinner,” a statement from Breed’s office read.

However, according to another source, the dining area was inside a partially enclosed room with a ceiling and chandelier—just like Newsom’s dinner.

Newsom did not implement more severe lockdowns on so-called “Purple Tier” counties, which is the most severe level, until two weeks later, with Napa being one of the counties affected.

The excuse was that at the time of Breed’s little boo boo, San Francisco was in the “Yellow Tier” and Napa County was in the “Orange Tier,” where both indoor and outdoor dining were allowed.

However, only a couple of days before, Breed had warned San Francisco residents that Halloween should be celebrated virtually or with an “at-home haunted house, scavenger hunts or outdoor costume parades” in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Just three days after Breed’s foray to the French Laundry, she banned indoor dining in San Francisco.

Newsom was slammed last month after he was caught on camera eating out at the French Laundry after photos surfaced showing him with a group of people, obviously not from his family, as well as not social distancing or wearing masks, dining inside.

Newsom said at the time:

“I want to apologize to you because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice. And I’ve done my best to do that.

“We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes.”

And yet others, like the governors of California, New Jersey, and Illinois, and the mayors of Chicago and New York City, as well as the Speaker of the House, all fall short sometimes too.

San Francisco has returned to the “purple” stage after a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Breed and Newsom are not the only officials catching heat for busting their own orders. Just this week, a Los Angeles County Supervisor, Sheila Kuehl, in the ultimate sign of “screw you,” went to an eatery in Santa Monica just hours after she voted to ban indoor dining at Los Angeles County restaurants.

On Thanksgiving, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo went to visit his elderly parents’ home for Thanksgiving, which was despite the county’s COVID-19 holiday travel warnings.  

Meanwhile, the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, also was busted violating his own recommendations.

He was on his way to Mississippi to celebrate Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter after admonishing people on social media and asking people to avoid traveling for the holiday.

A spokesman for Hancock, Mike Strott, confirmed that Hancock flew out of Denver International Airport on Wednesday morning, The Denver Post reported.

After getting busted, Hancock issued an apology in a statement:

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone. As a public official whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay home for all but essential travel.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”

In other words, sorry—not sorry.

The Post reached out to state and Denver public health officials and asked how residents of the state can be expected to follow the guidance elected officials themselves ignore. No response was received.

Strott downplayed the controversy surrounding Hancock’s travel, not seeing the hypocrisy in what Hancock advised Denver residents and his own conduct:

“(Hancock) has told people to rethink their Thanksgiving plans. He also said that if you do travel to follow health and safety guidelines, the Mayor will still follow health and safety guidelines upon his return.”

However, on Wednesday morning before flying to Mississippi, Hancock tweeted out public health recommendations that included avoiding unnecessary travel.

He also sent a memo to city staff that was obtained by The Denver Post. It read:

“As the holidays approach, we all long to be with our families in person, but with the continued rise in cases, I’m urging you to refrain from travel this Thanksgiving holiday.”

Finally, the mayor of Austin, Texas, Steve Adler was on vacation in Mexico in November when he told people to stay at home due to a rise in COVID cases, recording a video in which he told residents that now was “not the time to relax,” the Chicago Tribune reported, citing a report in an Austin newspaper.  

The Austin American-Statesman revealed the trip last week in which an official was busted violating the very rules they either advocate or mandate. Adler, a Democrat, told the paper that he did not violate his own regulations:

“There was no recommendation for people not to travel during that period of time.

“Someone could look at me and say, ‘He traveled.’ But what they could not say is that I traveled at a time when I was telling other people not to travel.”

Adler’s trip to Cabo San Lucas came after he had an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter at a downtown Austin hotel, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Adler claimed that all attendees had to take a rapid COVID-19 test and were supposed to maintain social distancing. He acknowledged that while masks were given out at the wedding, all guests were “probably not” wearing them at all times.

On November 9, while in Mexico on vacation, he recorded a livestream on Facebook, but never mentioned he was traveling:

“We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely…We may have to close things down if we are not careful.”

So, Adler says that there “was no recommendation for people not to travel” during the time he was out of the country, yet in the very video he recorded while out of the country, he says to “stay home if you can.” This guy is a Class A hypocrite…and apparently a liar as well.

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Author: Chris Elliot

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