NYC restaurant owners welcome the return of indoor dining


As indoor dining returned in the Big Apple Friday, restaurateurs and diners alike got a taste for normalcy.

Eight patrons were chowing down inside Bubby’s shortly after the Tribeca eatery opened at 8 a.m. — and owner Ron Silver was relishing the moment.

“I had four phone calls as soon as I stepped in about indoor dining. People are excited,” he told The Post Friday.

As he scanned his corner brunch hotspot, he added, “It feels like a normal day here. I feel lucky to have a restaurant that’s well-loved.”

Restaurants in New York City got the go-ahead earlier this week to resume indoor dining at 25 percent capacity and a 10 p.m. curfew.

The softening in COVID-19 restrictions, though not perfect, was still a welcome relief after Gov. Cuomo shuttered indoor dining in December, as infections surged in the state.

“Life seems to be coming back,” Silver said. “What’s a good sign is that the numbers are coning down and hopefully this doesn’t push it up.”

Staffers at Bubby’s get tested regularly, Wilson said. The Hudson Street eatery was forced to close twice over the last few months due to employees contracting the virus.

“What I’m really focused on is making sure my guys are safe — not just economics,” Silver added.

Bubby's Tribeca Restaurant is opened for indoor dining on a limited scale.
Bubby’s Tribeca Restaurant is opened for indoor dining on a limited scale.
William Farrington

Some restaurant owners are behind a push to get the indoor dining capacity boosted to 50 percent, saying 25 percent just doesn’t cut it. They also want the curfew extended until midnight.

Meanwhile, some wary eateries are refusing to welcome diners back inside altogether — fearing another “demoralizing” shutdown.