a city skyline with a pink sky

Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud are not only champions of fine dining, boasting multiple Michelin stars for their flagship restaurants, they’re also patrons of dining and food in general. They’ve long been industry leaders in charitable initiatives to support the New York community including City Harvest, and stood up for restaurants all over the city.

Their latest call however comes with the dire news that over 1,300 New York City restaurants and bars have already closed permanently as a result of covid-19, with many more expected. Of course, those numbers don’t factor in thousands of places temporarily closed, or facing impossible financial decisions, making matters all the more urgent.

a city with tall buildings and a body of water

While restaurants across Europe have reemerged, most with indoor seating in addition to outdoor dining options, New York and much of America with it, isn’t quite there yet.

Over 70% of Europe’s Michelin starred restaurants have reopened, and an even higher percentage of every day dining options. In the US however, numbers rain under 10% in most cities. As a grim result, over 1,300 New York restaurants and bars are now closed permanently, according to NYC GOV statistics. Alongside the 1,300 unique businesses, 160,000 people in the restaurant and bar industry remain out of work.

The news has prompted widespread industry calls for ‘The Restaurant Act’, a nationwide bill aimed at providing support to restaurant and bar businesses all across America. The act proclaims over 500,000 restaurants and 11,000,000 vital jobs are still at risk of closing permanently across the country.

Boulud and Ripert both shared an Instagram post, noting just how many businesses left harrowing goodbye messages on their storefronts, thanking people for their 10-30 years of support, or even more in their communities.

The sobering message is an awful reminder of the still to come devastation beyond the immediate health effects of covid-19. For a city which lives and breathes for food, it’s do or die for many restaurants and bars, and help can’t come soon enough.

You can add support for the Restaurant Act here.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Two comments – Cuomo is awfully smug about NY w his 14 quarantine of over 30 states but the economic harm he and DeBlasio are doing isn’t as publicized. NYC is one of the few places in America indoor dining isn’t allowed (with restrictions)

    Secondly (and this will sound harsh) – let the restaurants go out of business. It is supply and demand and when demand is back new ones will open. Restaurants and bars are 2 of the most unstable businesses in the best of times. Too many are always opened in good times (or a theme pushed too far), there is retrenchment and new, more original places eventually open. Servers and other employees will find jobs in new restaurants and ones really hurt are owners and landlords. Can’t save everyone- this is capitalism not socialism

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