NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Restaurants in the Tri-State Area are expanding, including in New York City Indoor dining is currently allowed at 50% capacity.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports, restaurants in Asian neighborhoods especially expect this to bring in more business.
Spring Shabu-Shabu, a hotpot restaurant in Flushing, the first night was bustling at 50% capacity.
“We are very hopeful about that,” said manager Melissa Pham. “We’re doing pretty well so far since we opened the door.”
In Chinatown, Joshua Gonazalez is taking his sister to a birthday dinner. Sponsoring one of their favorite restaurants is an added bonus.
“I feel we should support them in every possible way,” says Gonzalez.
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The pandemic has made it difficult for every restaurant. Some business owners say anti-Asian xenophobia has caused difficulties especially for restaurants Chinatown.
Wellington Chen of Chinatown Business Improvement Zone said: “Chinatown was affected earlier than most because Asian Americans stopped coming and feared people, linking us to Wuhan at the beginning of the year. now, ”said Wellington Chen.
He said that the recent rise of Asian hate crime is discouraging customers once again.
“Since the Atlanta shooting, I can tell you over the past two days, not counting today, the pedestrian traffic has decreased dramatically,” Chen said.
“From the outside, there are only more and more people with a frightened expression. That is certainly not good for business and also bad for the community, ”said Lawrence Lau, manager of Buddha Bodai One on Mott Street. “Locals decide to stay at home, tourists can take advantage of the weekends of the day, but evenings are very quiet.”
CBS2 restaurant owners who spoke to them said they hoped the loosened indoor eating restrictions would convince more people to come and eat in Chinatown.
“Small steps, but they’re on the right track,” said Lau.
Each additional customer is a sign of encouragement.