Garden City restaurant owner says ordered removal of outdoor dining set up will hurt business
A Garden City restaurant is facing uncertainty after the village ordered the removal of its outdoor dining area.
Revel Restaurant owner Jim Doukas says the outdoor dining set up is key to surviving the pandemic.
Doukas adds he might lose his business if the village forces him to take down the setup.
"About 40% of our total revenue comes from this tent," Doukas says.
He says the village just gave him a cease-and-desist letter, telling him to get rid of his outdoor dining setup - citing it's a fire hazard.
The letter says the outdoor dining setup blocks fire trucks from getting down the street, but Doukas says trucks can still access the surrounding buildings even with the tent in place.
Doukas says he's had a permit to operate outdoor dining in the back of his restaurant under a tent for the last 15 months, but that the village is telling him to take it down in five days.
"We were approved to have this structure and this tent, and that was 15 months ago. My biggest question is what has changed?" Doukas asks.
He says he was particularly shocked because the Town of Hempstead just announced Thursday that all restaurants within the town's jurisdiction can hold outdoor dining until October 2022.
"No sooner than an hour later, I got served that letter," Doukas says.
Doukas says people like sitting outdoors in the fresh air, especially with the delta variant on the rise.
"At least give us forewarning, give us 30 days, give us 60 days, try to come to a resolution and work this out. That's all we're asking for," Doukas says.
News 12 Long Island reached out to the Village of Garden City but has not heard back.
Meanwhile, Doukas says the issue will be discussed at a village board meeting next week and hopes they can come up with a compromise.