New York City politicians sue governor, mayor to end ban on indoor dining

Two GOPers have joined over 350 restaurants in the $2 billion lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Two local Republican politicians are joining a lawsuit filed by a group of New York restaurant owners to sue the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, and the mayor of its largest city, Bill de Blasio

State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, New York City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo and hundreds of restaurants contend that they have “tried to reason with the mayor and the governor,” but have been left with “no choice but to proceed with legal action.” 

New York Governor Cuomo Holds Briefing In New York
In this July photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes off a protective mask during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York in New York City. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

Malliotakis argued that “New York City meets the coronavirus reopening metrics like every municipality in the state, yet restaurants are being prohibited from having any indoor dining, and there’s no justification for this.”

Over 350 restaurants have signed on to the $2 billion lawsuit against Cuomo alleging irreparable harm. It demands that restaurants be able to open for indoor dining at a reduced capacity of 50%.

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One eatery participating in the suit, Il Bacco, sits only 500 feet from the Nassau County border, where restaurants have been able to serve indoors at 50% capacity since June 24.

Robert Hanley, who manages a fine dining restaurant in Staten Island, told the New York Post that he had to “furlough or lay off” two-thirds of his staff. 

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant is currently only serving a handful of socially distanced customers in four outdoor parking spots. “It’s unsustainable,” he said, “no matter how deep your pockets may be.”

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If New York City restaurants are not allowed to partially reopen before winter, experts suggest that more than 75% of them could close for good. According to Eater, more than 1,000 restaurants and bars in the city have already permanently shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

New York City was once the epicenter of the pandemic, with more than 23,000 deaths from COVID-19. Cuomo said Sunday that the state’s infection rate has been less than 1% for over a month.

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