Cuomo extends bar, restaurant closing time to 11 p.m. starting Sunday

Cuomo says the decision to extend the closing time by one hour comes from the decline in coronavirus infection rate and hospitalizations.

News 12 Staff

Feb 13, 2021, 2:24 AM

Updated 1,255 days ago

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says restaurants and bars across the state can close at 11 p.m. starting Sunday, Valentine's Day.
John Cracchiolo, who owns La Famiglia Italian Restaurant in Smithtown, says it's been a tough year, especially when the 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants was imposed.
"It's really hard that when you have a full staff, a full kitchen crew, employees to pay, and people walking in at 8:30, a quarter to nine and we have to turn them away," he said.
Some say 11 p.m. is still too early for restaurants to close.
Managers at La Famiglia say they wish they could stay open later and add it would've been better for businesses if the state extended the curfew on a Friday night instead of starting it on Sunday.
"Step in the right direction," said Giovanni Divella, the general manager. "Was it as large a step as we all would have liked to see? No, but we'll take what we can get and we're grateful."
"It would have been nice to extend it to midnight, this way if I work late on a Friday, I don't have to worry about going out to dinner at 9 o'clock and being forced out the door," Guy Calla said.
Diners like Frank Pita, of Smithtown, who likes to go out to dinner, says it's been difficult finding time to dine when you must be done by 10 p.m.
"10 o'clock creeps up on you and you're not finished, you're not finished having a good time, so I think the extension is going to be beneficial for everyone involved," Pita said.
Marcus Muurisepp, the general manager of Chop Shop Bar and Grill in Smithtown, says staying open until 11 p.m. will help businesses that have been struggling for almost a year.
"It affected us dramatically, we always had a nice bar crowd after 10 o'clock," he said. "It means a lot for us to be open an extra hour, it's more guests that we can accommodate, more people that we can serve."
Cuomo says the decision to extend the closing time by one hour comes from the decline in coronavirus infection rate and hospitalizations.
"We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly. If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy," said Cuomo.
The statewide daily positivity rate is 3.54%.


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