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New York City Restaurant Owners Worry Businesses Won't Survive Another Indoor Dining Shutdown: 'This Is The End'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York restaurants struggling to stay open are now grappling with a grim future.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says if hospitalizations keep climbing, indoor dining will be shut down in New York City and limited to 25% capacity elsewhere in the state.

Amelia's Diner in SoHo is barely putting food on the table, so owner Niko Katehis says the thought of shutting down indoor dining again is "devastating."

"The total amount of people that I get in here during the day might be 15 or 10," he said. "We went through the PPP money, and now we're using our own money, even for payroll."

While restaurants can still do outdoor dining, Katehis feels investing in an elaborate setup would be more money wasted.

"Who's going to sit outside and have dinner at 20 or 30 degrees at night?" he said.

WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Discusses Looming COVID Restrictions

Some, like Plado in the East Village, barely have space for outdoor dining, spending thousands on a new filtration system inside.

"They put so many regulations and protocols into place as to what you needed to do to keep open... Now we've invested money, and now you're going to shut it down again?" said Plado owner Kristin Rizzo.

Cuomo announced Monday he would hold off five days before making the decision. It all depends on COVID hospitalizations, which have spiked to more than 4,600 statewide.

"If the hospitalization rate doesn't stabilize in New York City, we're going to close indoor dining," he said. "In the rest of the state, any region where the hospitalization rate doesn't stabilize — they're now at 50% capacity indoor dining, we're going to go to 25%."

MORE: Cuomo: If COVID Hospitalizations Keep Climbing, Indoor Dining Will Have To Halt In NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated the message Tuesday.

"This health situation has to be addressed," he said. "So I do think we're going to see restrictions coming, and I think other restrictions have to be on the table."

Andrew Rigie, of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, said the Department of Health lacks data to link increased infection rates back to restaurants.

"We cannot continue to get shut down without being supported," he said.


Katehis is among the owners anxious for the governor's restrictions, which could come as early as Monday.

"I've been here 31 years, myself, and I think this is the end," he said.

Cuomo said, for now, this would only be for restaurants, not places like gyms or salons.



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