NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Over 100 struggling restaurants in the five boroughs have signed on to a class action lawsuit filed against Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, demanding indoor dining return.
Restaurants in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island have been struggling to stay afloat since the pandemic struck New York City and closed all restaurants. Some have been allowed to return with outdoor dining, but a majority of eateries say that’s not nearly enough.
Staten Island Councilman Steve Matteo put it bluntly: “Let's just be honest, the fact that we're here today is utterly ridiculous.”
He stresses that restaurants need to be rescued as many are on the brink of closure.
“The governor needs to let go of his arbitrary decision to not allow indoor dining and allow it today,” Matteo said Tuesday. “Give us a date this week. Give us a date now.”
The lawsuit filed in Richmond County demands all restaurants be allowed to resume indoor dining at around half capacity, at least.
Rob DeLuca, a restaurant owner on Staten Island, formed the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue, which filed the lawsuit.
“We started as five restaurants a few weeks ago, now we're 180. We have voice, we have strength, we're courageous people. We're not gonna be bullied anymore,” he said.
Gov. Cuomo last week said that he wants indoor dining to return in the five boroughs but, said he would not give the go ahead until the city has a plan to monitor restaurants’ compliance with coronavirus guidelines. There are over roughly 27,000 restaurants in the five boroughs.
Cuomo has called on City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to form an NYPD task force to help monitor the eateries.