Restaurants Could Open in Several Stages, Mayor Suggests in Meeting With Top Owners

In a phone call with some of New York City’s top independent restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned potentially reopening the city’s restaurants in three stages, culminating in a full reopening after Labor Day — a decision that could be made in conjunction with the potential reopening of the city’s public schools.

De Blasio didn’t provide specific dates or outline what each phase might entail, according to restaurateurs on the call, but Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy and Roni Mazumdar, the owner of Adda and Rahi, say the inference was that restaurant capacity would start off limited and gradually make its way to a fuller opening in the fall.

More than a dozen of the city’s well-known independent restaurants and bars were on the call to voice concerns, including Olmsted, Golden Diner, Russ & Daughters, Katz’s, and Leyenda.

Still, all of this will be entirely contingent on health data and a sustained decline in the spread of COVID-19 cases in the city, as the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been saying for weeks. Earlier this month, Cuomo noted that restaurants would open as part of a third phase of overall economic reopening.

Though restaurants in other areas of the country are reopening on a limited basis, many of the restaurateurs on the call expressed that they don’t want to rush into reopening dining rooms. Ivy Mix, an owner of cocktail bar Leyenda, says that all the restaurateurs said opening at reduced capacities wouldn’t be sustainable, and many preferred to wait longer if it meant they could open with more seats.



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