Lady Gaga’s father has joined more than 450 New York City restaurant owners suing Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for $2 billion in damages over a continued ban on indoor dining amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outdoor dining scheme ends on October 31 and so far, there are no solid plans to allow people back inside restaurants. Indoor dining is allowed in New York state with the exception of New York City, where, as of Thursday, 456 restaurateurs had filed the class-action lawsuit against the state and city, according to reports.
Joe Germanotta, who owns of Joanne Trattoria in Manhattan and is pop superstar Lady Gaga’s dad, is one of them, telling Pix11: ‘When it rains we gotta close. Once it starts getting cold, the place will be empty.’ He later told Fox News: ‘Once the weather gets cold we are pretty much out of business.’
New York has seen by far the most deaths from COVID-19 of any U.S. state, more than 32,000, but its rate of new infections has dropped to among the lowest in the country.
Germanotta says he has the backing to survive but added: ‘It’s so sad, because I’m watching some of my dear friends that own places, shut down.
‘Something has to be done. They’re not listening, they’re not hearing, they’re just not being realistic. They gotta put themselves in our shoes, they’re still getting a paycheck, these people are suffering.
‘Without the indoor dining I am just about breaking even, which is fine, it’s a family run business but it is going to be tight, especially when winter hits.
‘The whole situation affects the entire supply chain. It will affect the governor and the city and the tax base. We have taken the precautions. I was ready on July 6.’
Lady Gaga’s father Joseph Germanotta, left with the singer, has joined more than 450 New York City restaurant owners suing Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for $2 billion in damages over a continued ban on indoor dining amid the COVID-19 pandemic
The outdoor dining scheme ends on October 31 and so far, there are no solid plans to allow people back inside restaurants. Indoor dining is allowed in New York state with the exception of New York City
In March Germanotta was slammed for creating a GoFundMe page to pay staff at the restaurant he co-owns with the pop star, as COVID-19 forced layoffs.
The A Star is Born actress (born Stefani Germanotta) reportedly had ‘no idea’ her father Joe Germanotta made the public plea for $50,000, according to a source who spoke with PageSix. He eventaully removed the page.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he won’t let New York City reopen its restaurants for indoor dining until the city comes up with a plan to make sure they are following regulations to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Cuomo, left, suggested New York City could deploy police officers to ensure compliance with safety guidelines such as mask-wearing and capacity limits. The mayor, right, offered a note of caution: ‘The NYPD has a lot on its hands and they’re dealing with so many challenges and fighting back the challenges we face’
Restaurants and bars were finally able to offer outdoor dining again on June 22 after nearly three months of closures. Those who were able to opened their doors again but were met with strict rules; all diners must be 6ft apart, wear masks when not at their tables and order food with every drink served.
The governor said that he thinks restaurants should open in New York City but that the state doesn’t have enough personnel to monitor the city’s 27,000-plus eateries.
‘These institutions are under dire economic circumstances,’ Cuomo said in a phone call with reporters Thursday. ‘And we know that compliance has to happen.’
‘We open restaurants, that’s going to complicate by the hundreds if not thousands the number of establishments that need to be monitored,’ he said.
Cuomo is facing pressure from the restaurant industry, which has seen business plummet amid the pandemic and hundreds of workers seeking unemployment assistance.
The lawsuit was filed the same day New Jersey announced plans to allow indoor dining at 25 per cent capacity starting Friday. Connecticut began allowing indoor dining at half capacity in June.
The rest of the state outside New York City has allowed indoor dining at half capacity since June.
Joe Germanotta said: ‘Once the weather gets cold we are pretty much out of business’
Germanotta owns of Joanne Trattoria in Manhattan and is pop superstar Lady Gaga’s dad
The outdoor dining area at Joanne Trattoria, the restaurant opened by Lady Gaga’s family
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had hoped the city was on track to allow indoor dining in late June when it entered the third phase of Cuomo’s gradual reopening plan.
But Cuomo announced he wouldn’t allow indoor dining in New York City over concerns about dining indoors fueling the spread of the coronavirus. The city has since pushed to expand outdoor dining, though Cuomo increased restrictions on bars following reports of crowds violating social distancing rules.
The restaurants, in their lawsuit over the ban on New York City indoor dining, claim the restriction lacks scientific basis and question why it is allowed so close to New York City.
But public health experts have warned that dining is risky in enclosed spaces with groups of people talking loudly, sharing food and drinking alcohol. States including Louisiana and Maryland have linked new cases to bars and restaurants.
New York is now reporting a sharp decline in hospitalizations and fatalities since a peak of over 18,000 COVID-19 patients and well over 700 deaths a day in mid-April.
Cuomo has praised New Yorkers for keeping infection rates down, contrary to expectations after the state began reopening in mid-May. New York City recorded about 9,000 positive COVID-19 tests in August, down from over 11,700 in June, according to state Department of Health data.
Still, the virus is not vanquished. Over 9,000 COVID-19 tests were positive across New York in the last two weeks of August as some upstate communities weather upticks at colleges and elsewhere. And New York City has continued to represent about half of the state’s positive cases.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that the city will provide guidance to restaurants this month and that he is in ‘constant dialogue’ with the state.
Cuomo suggested New York City could deploy police officers to ensure compliance with safety guidelines such as mask-wearing and capacity limits.
The mayor offered a note of caution: ‘The NYPD has a lot on its hands and they’re dealing with so many challenges and fighting back the challenges we face.’