Restaurants In Syracuse Can Extend Their Curfews to Midnight
By John Perik
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In a tweet on April 14, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new COVID-19 related curfew extension for bars and restaurants in New York State.
Beginning April 19, bars and restaurants will be able to keep their doors open until 12 a.m. This is an improvement from the previous 11 p.m. curfew that was first imposed on February 14.
Although the extended curfew is an improvement, Governor Cuomo still urged New Yorkers to remain cautious of the virus.
“We caution New Yorkers, don’t get cocky. The disease is still very much with us. We have to stay smart until COVID is crushed and it won’t be crushed until we get herd immunity and we won’t get herd immunity until we’re finished vaccinating everyone,” Cuomo said during a call with reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Will the extended curfew immediately affect these establishments’ bottom line? Citrus TV asked Holly Berlin, owner of Singers Karaoke Club in Solvay, N.Y.
“An extra hour most certainly helps the bottom line,” said Holly Berlin. “When you add an extra hour to your business to being able to sell more drinks and more food in an hour, you can’t help but be happy because you’re going to pay more bills, you’re going to take in more income.”
For Berlin, Governor Cuomo’s curfew extension came as a sudden surprise.
“I was surprised that we were given the extra hour to be open. I had heard that Governor Cuomo and the state was thinking about doing something in May, so I really wasn’t ready for it,” Berlin said. “But of course I am ecstatic because it’s a step towards things getting back to normal again which is what we are all hoping in this industry”
Bar manager Hailey Kolb of the Penny in downtown Syracuse was less surprised by Governor Cuomo’s announcement and more relieved.
“I don’t want to say that I was surprised but I thought it was about time,” Kolb said.
Kolb also says that she believes the incremental change will bring more people into the bar.
“I think before all of this was going on, most of our clientele would come in from hours between 10 p.m. to close. So definitely that extra hour will help us,” said Kolb.
But for Will Minney, the owner of Wild Will’s Saloon in downtown Syracuse, the extended curfew is not enough.
“I don’t think that this is enough for bars to make a big comeback, I don’t think that a lot of them will. I know some that are actually planning on not reopening,” said Minney. “There are a lot of them that said they won’t reopen until it gets to 2 o’clock. Between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. is their bread and butter, that’s where they make their money.”