New York City restaurants can expand indoor dining capacity from 25 to 35 percent starting February 26, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday. “That will be consistent with New Jersey,” the governor said during a press conference, referring to the 35 percent capacity. After closing indoor dining in December, Cuomo said city restaurants could serve customers inside again on February 12, citing the end of the “post-holiday” surge of coronavirus cases. The governor last week also extended the closing times for bars, restaurants, and other businesses from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Heart-shaped pizzas, at-home sushi-making kits, red velvet cakes, sake and chocolate pairings–these are just some of the takeout offerings and treats that you can order this Valentine’s Day. Since most of us will be staying home, we’ve put together a list of local restaurants with special to-go menus, as well as shops that have yummy holiday treats and edible gifts and even some virtual cooking classes. Ahead, check out all the options and start planning your romantic day (or weekend!).
Starting Friday, New Jersey restaurants and bars can serve more customers and stay open later. Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed an executive order relaxing some coronavirus restrictions for indoor gatherings, pointing to a decrease in new daily cases and hospitalizations across the state. Under the order, which goes into effect ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, indoor dining capacity can increase from 25 percent to 35 percent and the 10 p.m. curfew at restaurants will be lifted.
Photo by Rhododendrites via Wikimedia
Next Friday, February 12th, begins the Year of the Ox, an animal whose attributes are hardworking and honest. The Lunar New Year is a 16-day celebration, often marked by lantern festivals, parades, and fireworks. But since we aren’t able to enjoy a lot of these gatherings this year, we’ve rounded up some of the best safe celebratory events in New York City, including virtual dumpling-making classes, papercutting workshops, a small business crawl in Chinatown, and traditional Chinese dance and music performances.
Most of us are looking forward to special televised events this year more than ever, and Super Bowl LV is sure to be a welcome distraction from the pandemic. Even if you’re not so into football (or you’re like us and are toggling back and forth to the Puppy Bowl), the commercials, half-time show, and, most importantly, food make it a fun Sunday night. And when it comes to nosh, it’s also a great opportunity to support one of your favorite local restaurants, many of which are offering up special game day packages.
Photo by Samantha Box, courtesy of NYC & Company
New York City Restaurant Week is now Restaurant Month. Due to popular demand, NYC Restaurant Week To Go, which launched on Monday, will run through February 28 instead of on Sunday as originally planned. During the month, diners can buy one bargain meal for delivery or takeout for $20.21, which includes an entree and at least one side, from each restaurant. According to NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency behind the program, a record 570 restaurants in over 100 neighborhoods are participating this year.
Big Gay Ice Cream’s first brick-and-mortar location has permanently closed, as EV Grieve reported on Thursday. The East Village store at 125 East 7th Street opened its doors in 2011 after operating as an ice cream truck for two years. According to the neighborhood blog, the store has been closed since Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus pandemic “pause” order in March and now a for-rent sign hangs in the window.
Photo credit: Storm Garner
After canceling its 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Queens Night Market is set to return this spring. John Wang, founder of the popular open-air market, said he plans to kick off the event on April 17 at the New York Hall of Science at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, while keeping an eye on the city’s COVID-19 metrics. The food market, open on Saturday nights, will tentatively run through October 30.
Parklet designed by Brandt:Haferd for The Row and Alibi Lounge. All photos by New Kingston Media
The stately brick homes lining West 138th and 139th Streets between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Boulevards are known as Strivers’ Row. The historic Harlem enclave was once home to prominent, wealthy African-American performers, artists, and professionals. More than 100 years later, the neighborhood is once again leading the community with a new outdoor dining and recreation corridor that supports Black-owned businesses. Called the Renaissance Pavilion at Strivers’ Row, the winterized outdoor setup will help local businesses and restaurants serve customers safely through April of next year.
The bar on opening day, courtesy of Finnerty’s
Considered New York City’s unofficial San Francisco sports bar, Finnerty’s announced this morning that it’s permanently closing its East Village location. For the past 11 years, the Irish pub on Second Avenue has been a go-to spot for Giants and 49ers fans, even hosting the Giant’s World Series trophy three times. “The pandemic, along with being unable to reach an agreement with our landlord, forced our hand. There just wasn’t any way forward for us,” said Finnerty’s owners Dieter Seelig and Brian Stapleton.