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COVID Surge Shutters Dozens Of Restaurants As New Fears Grip Industry

So far, there are more than ten restaurants in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area that have shut down:Bernie’s, Cozy Royale, Di An Di, We Got Company, Winonas, Thief, Frankel’s Delicatessen, Pheasant, L’industrie Pizzeria, Misi, Lilia, Five Leaves, Four Horsemen. There were several more in other Brooklyn neighborhoods: LaLou, Love, Nelly, Nite Nite, Oxalis, Rialto Grande, Otway, Bar Meridian. Grand Army Bar and Ugly Baby both announced they would stay closed until the end of the year.

The surge has also hit places in Ridgewood, including The Acre (who recommended that anyone who went there this week get tested), Porcelain, and I Like Food (who said they would remain closed until after Christmas). Other restaurants that have shut down in various parts of the city include Temperance Wine Bar in the West Village, Bessou in the Lower East Side and Top Quality in Long Island City.

East Harlem’s Contento, which was named one of the New York Times’ top 10 restaurants of 2021, said Wednesday it was closing “for a couple of days in an abundance of caution to protect our guests and staff due to a positive COVID case this past weekend.”

And the New York Post reported that Marea, located on Central Park South at Columbus Circle, quietly closed last Saturday over “a big kitchen outbreak” in which more than 20 people were reportedly infected “both in the kitchen and front of the house.”

Stephanie Gallardo, the co-owner of Love, Nelly bakery in Bedford-Stuyvesant, told Gothamist that someone on her six-person staff had a breakthrough case, which kicked in the store’s COVID protocols: everyone has to get a rapid test and a PCR test, and if the rapid comes back negative, they’re cleared to work. They were able to reopen a day later, but Gallardo is concerned about the current difficulties in getting tested — it’s a domino effect which could lead to the store shutting down longer the next time something like this happens.

“Everyone that worked got tested, some people were off and they were like, ‘I waited two hours and they ran out of tests’ or ‘I went to four different places, the lines are outrageous, they don’t have room for me,” Gallardo said. “And that’s been the normal. I had a few of them, three of my employees waited for over two hours to get tested between yesterday and today.”

If the bakery shuts down for a full day, she estimates they’d lose a couple thousand dollars in revenue, but they have other complicated logistics, including shipping for their sister bakery Butter and Scotch, making pre-orders, cake pickups, etc.

“We can’t lose those already guaranteed orders and sales — there’s just so many things that go into it,” she said. “To go into shutdown mode everything has to shift and everyone kind of has to put their heads together and figure out how we survive for a day or two .. I feel like this is definitely going to be happening for a while through the new year.”


https://gothamist.com/food/covid-surge-shutters-dozens-restaurants-new-fears-grip-industry