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Restaurant Owners Hoping New Yorkers Brave Bitter Blast To Dine Outdoors

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City restaurant owners are hoping the bitter blast eases up because outdoor dining is back on the menu.

Mayor Bill de Blasio ended a suspension on outdoor dining at 6 p.m. Thursday, once the weather and roads were clear.

Mounds of snow surrounded outdoor diners Thursday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

"It's below freezing," one diner told CBS2's Cory James.

But it wasn't cold enough to stop the group of friends from braving the frigid temperatures just hours after the city's biggest snow storm in two years.

"The restaurants make New York what it is and we just want to support them," said Lewis Malivandk.

Michael Costa, who manages Peter Luger Steakhouse, said they started calling loyal customers once the mayor reopened outdoor street dining.

"And they were more than happy to come in," Costa said.

MORE: New York City Looks To Dig Out Before Deep Freeze; Mayor Gives Outdoor Dining Green Light

Over in Park Slope, remnants of the storm appeared to keep people at home. Most outdoor eating structures were empty, like the one at Bar Basic.

Workers at a restaurant in Queens shoveled snow, turned on electric heating lamps and organized robes to warm those who are cold.

"Hopefully, as soon as neighbors hear about outside opening, hopefully they'll start coming out," one person said.

Meantime, the New York City Hospitality Alliance says the real solution is help from the federal government with the Restaurants Act.

"It gives you the difference between your 2019 and your projected 2020 sales to pay for rent, payroll, utilities, vendors expenses," said Andrew Rigie.

That's something the owner of Trattorio Lincontro in Astoria could benefit from. He posted a video of him and his staff eating outdoors during the Nor'easter.

His team has gotten smaller because of layoffs caused by the pandemic.

"Don't ask me what am I going to do. I do not know. I live today, today, today," he told James.



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