ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Phase three is underway for many local bars and restaurants and some owners say this past weekend was one of their best. But there are new rules and on Monday Governor Cuomo said it’s up to local government to make sure businesses are following them.
Danny Deutsch owns Abilene Bar & Lounge in downtown Rochester said he posted signs about their new rules, especially social distancing, around the bar and patio. He said he just opened up on Friday for the first time in months and if he has to follow these rules to continue to stay open, he’s happy to do it.
“We were open Friday, just wanted to get our feet wet and welcome people back and it went very well. It was great to see some old faces, albeit altered a little bit,” said Deutsch.
Reopening doesn’t happen overnight. Social distancing, masking, and a lower capacity are all things to think about.
On Sunday, Governor Cuomo said he’ll take away liquor licenses from bars and restaurants that have large crowds and are violating new rules. He was specifically referring to incidents downstate, but Jason Snyder, owner of Blu Wolf Bistro, isn’t taking any chances.
“We explain what the state guidelines are, we go over it with them. We’re a small business, we have about 40 people working for us but no more than 15 or so employees on at one time, you would need a crew of people to come and regulate and make sure everyone’s following the rules to the letter of the law. But you explain it to them at the beginning,” said Snyder.
Deutsch said he’s the first to admit the new restrictions are a pain, but he said they’re helping the number of cases go down which is another step closer to normalcy.
“We’ve gone this far. Let’s get through the finish line and let’s do it safely, and as odd as these times are I hope we can all adjust correctly and it’s hard. We want to be able to accommodate all the people we used to, but we will again certainly.”
Both restaurants normally have live music but haven’t started that up yet. Deutsch said he talked to someone from the Chamber of Commerce on Monday and they told him he can have solo or duo acts perform out on the patio as long as they are social distancing.
Governor Cuomo said there have been 25,000 complaints to the state about businesses not following social distancing guidelines, but he didn’t mention a timeframe for when these complaints were made. He said the State Liquor Authority is investigating and he’s been personally calling businesses he believes broke the rules.