Gov. Cuomo: Restaurants, bars can only serve alcohol to those ordering a meal
The state of New York is now requiring restaurants and bars to only serve alcohol to customers sitting down to eat.
In downtown Riverhead, they've closed Main Street to traffic in order to make room for outdoor dining. For restaurant owners, it's a chance to recoup some business after nearly four months of lockdown.
"It's everything. It keeps this place going. After 3 1/2 months, it's like you're trying to figure out how you're going to make ends meet," says Sean Kenna, owner of Craft'd.
But the first night of "Dine on 25" comes on the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced stepped up social distancing enforcement at restaurants and bars, including making it illegal for them to serve people alcohol if they are not also ordering a meal.
"If you're not eating a meal and you're just drinking, then it's just an outdoor bar and people are mingling and they're not isolated at individual tables," says Cuomo. "And that's what we're seeing."
Cuomo says the goal is to prevent a second wave from happening.
"Also, no walk-up bar service. All service at bar tops must be only for seated patrons who are socially distanced by 6 feet," he says.
Riverhead officials say they take the regulations seriously. Code enforcers, police and the fire marshal were at the Dine on 25 event to enforce the rules.
"We've already made the rounds. Each business has been visited. So they know the rules and hopefully everyone will obey them," says Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller.
The governor also announced any bars or restaurants in New York City that receive three violations will be closed, and any establishment facing disciplinary charges by the State Liquor Authority will have its name and location posted online.