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Indoor Dining In New York City Remains Shut Down As Restrictions Are Lifted In Other Parts Of State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- While indoor dining reopens elsewhere in New York state, New York City restaurants are still only allowed to do take-out, delivery and outdoor dining under orders from the state.

It's causing a lot of frustration for restaurant owners in the city.

"I'm going to have chicken tenders and waffle fries today," Port Chester resident Paulina Arellano said.

That order is coming to a table inside Port Chester Coach Diner, which only hours before was an orange zone designated area of Westchester County.

Now, it's the more lenient yellow zone.

"It's exciting to see that they're finally able to open up again," Arellano said.


"I'm very happy today," diner owner Jasmine Mayer told CBS2's Dave Carlin. "The customers are happy too."

At reopening restaurants, the indoor rules are 50% capacity and a maximum of four people per table.

The state is doing this temporarily and reluctantly, and New York City is not included.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reacting to more than 100 Erie County restaurants who sued over dining restrictions, and when the judge sided with them ahead of next week's final verdict, the state gave in.

MORE -- COVID In New York: Restaurants In Orange Zones Allowed To Open Indoor Dining At 50% Capacity

"This set of restrictions were very unfair," said Carlos Santos, owner of Aqui Es Santa Fe in Port Chester.

Santos' restaurant can now offer half capacity indoor dining, but not restaurants in New York City, including Lido and Bixi in Harlem, both owned by Susannah Koteen.

"We're at 0% capacity, which has forced me to close both my businesses," Koteen said.

On a Friday morning radio show, Koteen told Mayor Bill de Blasio shifting rules and haphazard enforcement will permanently drive small businesses out of the city.

"My biggest hurdle has always been the city, the constant surprise inspections," Koteen told de Blasio.

"I want you to thrive, but we gotta save lives too," de Blasio said.

RELATED STORY -- New York City Restaurant Workers Rally In Times Square, Then March On Cuomo's Office Calling For Relief

"It feels like they say they care about small business, but the constant barrage of changing rules and red tape, it's hurting us," she said.

Restaurant leaders say the city and state are pushing these essential businesses to far-away cities, where it is not this hard.


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