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Iconic Broadway Restaurant Joe Allen Reopens For Business

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A mainstay for Broadway fans is back.

The iconic restaurant Joe Allen reopened Wednesday.

CBS2's Thalia Perez reports on what it means to the theater and restaurant industries.

Taking a walk down Restaurant Row on 46th Street, you still see "for rent" signs and shuttered businesses, but there are signals the district is coming back to life again.

Joe Allen, an iconic restaurant on the block, reopened Wednesday, for the second time since the pandemic began.

"Let's get back to work," said Julie Cronauer.

Cronauer is the owner of Joe Allen, named after her late father. Like many other eateries nearby, for now the restaurant is only doing dinner service, beginning at 5 p.m. But as Broadway slowly reopens, they plan to expand the hours.

"As corny as it sounds, the show must go on, and we're just thrilled to have people back at work," Cronauer said.

Restaurateur Joe Allen died at the age of 87 in February. His namesake restaurant opened its doors back in 1965, and it has been a staple in the neighborhood for locals, tourists, theatergoers and even celebrities.

"His legacy was to really let people have fun. And we'll continue to do that. C'mon, that's how you do it," Cronauer said.

Becco, located a few doors down, reopened in February. Executive chef Bill Gallagher is confident business will bounce back completely when theaters open up at 100% capacity.

"We need the theater. We need the support of everyone to come back out and support us," Gallagher said.

And Gallagher says that support translates to more business, which is just what Restaurant Row needs.

"It just felt normal. I like feeling normal again," said Sandra Tumas of Brick, N.J.

"I'm excited to be here. It feels so good," said Michalene Morelli of Tom's River.

Diners in the area all agree supporting local businesses is what they plan to do.

The restaurant told Perez that, based on reservations, they're expecting a huge crowd Wednesday night.

As mandated by the city, the restaurant will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining. There will also be outdoor seating.

Thalia Perez contributed to this report.


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