Staff at a New York City restaurant have mocked Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ban on indoor dining by eating a meal outdoors in the snow.
Employees at Trattoria L’incontro in Astoria, Queens were seen on Instagram Wednesday night sitting at a table set up on the sidewalk in the midst of Winter Storm Gail, which is expected to dump up to 12 inches of snow.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio also temporarily shut down outdoor dining on roadways due to the wild weather conditions, but stated that restaurants could still serve customers if they were sitting on sidewalks.
Staffers at Trattoria L’incontro shared a video showing staff sarcastically toasting with red wine as snow flurries fell.
‘This is what outdoor dining looks like in MY CITY,’ the restaurant’s owner, Rocco Sacramone, wrote in the caption.
‘I love NY but what a mess we are in. This was my staff today. We normally have 30 to 40. We are down to 5. This is real this is the reality of every restaurant in NYC.’
Staff at a New York City restaurant Trattoria L’incontro have mocked Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ban on indoor dining by eating a meal outdoors in the snow
With indoor dining prohibited and outdoor dining set ups temporarily shut down, the restaurant employees were forced to sit on the sidewalk. They are seen sarcastically toasting with red wine as snow flurries fell
Sacramone and Trattoria L’incontro have been taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, and have donated meals to frontline workers for the past several months.
However, Sacramone says he will be forced to fire employees because of the new indoor dining ban.
‘While Cuomo and the rest of the Government are on pay, they could care less about what the NYC restaurants and workers who will no longer have jobs to support themselves and their families RIGHT before Christmas,’ he wrote on social media last week.
‘Cuomo is banning indoor dining, but looks the other way when about 200 people are crammed inside in airplane cabins 25,000 times a day. Ridiculous and humiliating to have someone like him decide on our State.’
Meanwhile, Mayor De Blasio’s outdoor dining ban went into effect 2pm on Wednesday.
He ordered restaurant owners to move all collapsible tents and portable heaters inside order to prevent damage and allow snow plows to move down roadways.
In the afternoon, workers at some restaurants were seen trying to dismantle outdoor dining set ups that they had only just completed – often at a great cost.
However, patrons were still allowed to sit on tables set up on sidewalks and some locals decided to brave the elements just as the storm rolled in early afternoon.
However, as night fell and the snow began to fall heavily, almost restaurants were deserted, with eateries relying on takeaway orders.
Some deliverymen on bikes were seen pedaling in hazardous conditions to bring New Yorkers their dinner.
In the afternoon, workers at some restaurants were seen trying to dismantle outdoor dining set ups that they had only just completed – often at a great cost
Patrons were still allowed to sit on tables set up on sidewalks and some locals decided to brave the elements just as the storm rolled in early afternoon
With indoor dining banned, and more snowstorms a possibility throughout winter, restaurants may not be able to rely on outdoor dining
With dine-in options effectively out of the equation, deliverymen on bikes were seen pedaling in thick snow to bring New Yorkers their dinner
De Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that street dining could resume on Thursday night just hours after the storm.
‘Street dining will be closed from 2pm onward tomorrow. We’re telling restaurant owners that it’s important where they can to get any of their equipment out of the roadway, particularly heaters,’ de Blasio said.
‘Sidewalk dining will still be allowed, it may be difficult obviously tomorrow evening, so everyone will decide whether it works for them or not.
‘We’re hoping that by Thursday night, outdoor dining of all kinds will be online again depending on the exact conditions of the snow. Hopefully everything is back up and running for outdoor dining and sidewalk dining by Thursday evening.’
The Mayor was immediately mocked on Twitter, with users sharing a flurry of memes surround the confusion over his orders.
Indoor dining ended in New York City on Monday even though it accounts for less than 1.34 percent of all new COVID-19 cases.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that street dining could resume on Thursday night just hours after a huge snow storm is expected to roll through