The Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association, a group that represents New York’s restaurants and bars, is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to lift the 10 p.m. dining curfew and let businesses stay open until midnight for what’s typically one of the busiest unofficial food holidays of the year.
Restaurant groups lobby for later curfew ahead of the Super Bowl.
“Restaurant and tavern owners and their workers can safely operate their establishment at any time. Compliance with the government’s restrictions is dependent on their commitment to following the rules – and they can do that as well at 9 p.m. as they can do it at 11 p.m.,” the said in a statement this week.
By giving restaurants the extra two hours, allowing patrons to watch the end of the big game, industry advocates argue it could bring in additional and much-needed revenue.
“Lifting the curfew for even two hours would provide an additional table turn for restaurants and will let patrons stay to watch the end of the game, rather than being thrown out at 10 p.m. and gathering with friends to watch the second half or third period at someone’s home,” said Scott Wexler, the Association’s executive director.
New York imposed the 10 p.m. curfew in November amid an increase in COVID-19 cases ahead of the holidays. Indoor dining is currently restricted until Feb. 14, so the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association’s request would only impact New York City’s outdoor dining.
New Jersey, starting Friday, will lift its 10 p.m. curfew on indoor dining, and ease other coronavirus restrictions ahead of Super Bowl Sunday as infection rates stabilize. Indoor dining capacity will now be at 35% up from 25%, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced this week.