New York restaurant owners had been hoping for some sort of Hail Mary from Governor Andrew Cuomo that would allow them to stay open after 10 p.m. for Super Bowl Sunday, and said the one-day extension could be used as a kind of pilot program.
That’s the language Cuomo used to describe how the Buffalo Bills got fans in their home playoff game last month. And with the COVID numbers improving lately, some thought there might be a chance.
However, those hopes were dismissed by the governor Friday.
“No, we are not thinking of changing the curfew for Super Bowl Sunday,” Cuomo said, joking that “if the bills were in the Super Bowl, it might be another conversation.”
But business owners don’t laugh and say the governor’s curfew affects their chances of making money on unofficial holidays. The game starts at 6:30 p.m., but it will go well beyond the government shutdown time.
“Super Bowl Sunday is one of our busiest days and nights of the year,” said Aristotle Hatzigeorgiou, who owns Clinton Hall in Lower Manhattan. “It’s very hard to tell people to come to your house on a Sunday and then let them go home at 10am, which is about halfway through.”
Almost 100 bars and restaurants in upstate New York City that added some salt to the wound received a curfew exemption after suing the state – but this only applies to these companies.
“Make it fair that everyone is working by the same rules across the country, and secondly, there will likely be a whole series of new lawsuits from all other institutions that cannot be opened,” said Hatzigeorgiou.
The governor’s office did not comment on the judge’s decision to grant the exemption, simply saying that they are “reviewing the order.”
The owners’ opening concerns were allayed across the river in New Jersey, where Governor Phil Murphy lifted the state curfew to allow restaurants to stay open later. For the first time in almost a year, the restaurants were able to stay open after 10 p.m. on Friday
At the same time, the new measures enable a capacity of 35 percent for indoor meals, compared to the previous 25 percent. Some restaurants said increasing it doesn’t make much of a difference, maybe a table or two, but it’s a step in the right direction.
New Jersey restaurants will soon be welcoming more people – and staying open longer. Chris Glorioso from NBC New York reports.