Local restaurants react to new State regulations

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The coronavirus is making a big comeback in New York State, and Governor Cuomo is clamping down again.

On Wednesday, the governor announced new restrictions impacting bars and restaurants, gyms and gatherings – the three areas where contact tracers are finding some of the most COVID-19 cases.

The new rules are hitting bars and restaurants hard; the establishments must close their doors for the night at 10 p.m. Restaurants can continue curbside pickup of food only after that point until their usual closing time.

But officials we spoke with says this hurts and already struggling industry. Melissa Fleischut is the president of the New York State Restaurant Association. She says businesses she spoke with Wednesday after this news came out were worried.

“These steps that the governor had to take [Wednesday] are an indication that he’s obviously concerned about the numbers and increases in cases, and is going to have to take measures to help curb it,” Fleischut said. “There’s a lot of concern going forward about what the next few weeks and next few months look like, and is it going to get worse before it gets better?”

Sports City Pizza Pub on Niagara Street in Buffalo is one of the many local restaurants impacted by this latest announcement. Vice President Michael Rizzo says the sports bar typically closes for the night around midnight, and even losing two hours of business will have a negative impact.

“Especially with the upcoming Bills schedule, for the first time in how long we’re good; we have three or four upcoming prime time games,” Rizzo said. “It’s very difficult to justify asking our customers, hey come in for the game but you have to leave at halftime.”

These new regulations go into effect Friday, Nov. 13 at 10 p.m.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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