Lifting of indoor mask mandate comes at perfect time for Long Island restaurants
Long Island bars and restaurants are hopeful that they will make a profit as New York’s indoor mask mandate comes to an end just ahead of the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.
The Main Event co-owner Mike Constantatos says the Farmingdale restaurant saw an immediate increase in phone calls and business after Gov. Kathy Hochul officially announced the lifting of the mandate.
“People are coming in,” Constantatos says. “They feel more comfortable without masks, and we’re excited too.”
The restaurant industry has suffered significant sales and job losses since the pandemic began, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Eighty-eight percent of operators experienced a decline in consumer demand for indoor on-premise eating options.
The Milleridge Inn in Jericho is also seeing Valentine’s Day reservations fill up.
“Businesses are really excited to welcome customers back,” says Mike Deery, of the Milleridge Inn. “We welcome them. Masks don’t lend themselves to those who want to come here and celebrate.”
Some patrons at The Main Event still opted to wear their masks while inside the restaurant.
“I just feel like it’s the respectful thing to do,” says Evelyn Hernandez, of Glen Cove. “We obviously took them off while eating but just put them back on out of respect. I just feel safer that way.”
Some seating is still available at both the Milleridge Inn and The Main Event for anyone who wants to make a reservation.