Toby Cecchini, co-owner of Long Island Bar at the corner of Henry and Atlantic, penned a despairing op-ed in The New York Times, pondering the future of New York City’s restaurant and bar scene.
Cecchini was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March and spent a month in various stages of physical and emotional distress. While he is physically recovered, contemplating the options for his business has brought no solace.
His article takes on the Payroll Protection Program, insurance companies, the restrictions he’ll face when he is finally the green light to open, and the high costs of operating a restaurant. He also suggests that bars and restaurants will be held to impossible standards, unlike other businesses that have continued to operate.
“The grocery and liquor stores in Brooklyn where I’ve been shopping have customers in their aisles cheek by jowl — six-foot measures be damned — with no one objecting. Offices and factories nationwide will open to suggestions and guidelines for safety galore, but nothing officially mandating that they must hobble their production. Why should we be singled out for delimiting?”
For those of us longing to return to our favorite watering holes and dining spots, the article sounds a desperate note for the future of not only Long Island Bar, but of the hospitality scene that is the lifeblood of our city.
Read the full story at the Times.
Photo credit Tjeerd Wiersma via flickr. Used with permission.