TOWN OF NEW BREMEN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Lewis County tavern has a new menu that’s poking fun and pushing back at the governor’s new regulations at bars and restaurants.
"We have our 'Twisted Cheesy Cuomo,' that's a state-mandated soft pretzel with cheese sauce for 75 cents, 'COVID-19 Count-Em,' 19 fries for $1.75, 'Donut Stand Close To Me,'" said Jackie Prashaw, owner of Rusty P's in the town of New Bremen.
Then there's the 'Not-Cho Covid.'
This special menu at Rusty P's isn't just to poke fun at Governor Cuomo, it's a way to keep customers coming.
Last week, Cuomo issued a new executive order out that prohibits customers from just drinking at eateries; they now must order food. So, Rusty P's made a special menu with cheap snacks.
"Just so that if anybody comes in just to have a beer, they don't have to have a meal," said Prashaw.
It's an idea the Paddock Club in Watertown has had too. To keep their bar customers, they now offer 'The Executive Order.'
"You can come in, you can order a couple of those, order one for the table, then have a couple of drinks, sit down for a little while and have some social time," said Justin Bellinger, Paddock Club staff supervisor.
But Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul have caught on to these special menus and admonished them as exploiting the regulation that allows dining.
"No one should be intentionally subverting the intent of the law. The law was, you can have indoor and outdoor dining, it did not say go to a bar, which be it's nature, encourages people to be together," said Hochul.
"Is it a loophole? I don't think it is. I think it's just a pretty specific compliance," said Bellinger.
Small business owners say they need to get creative to meet all of the rules.
"It's like you're in a circus and somebody who has no idea what they're doing - put a bunch of hoops up for ya, and some of us make it through the hoops and some of us crash and burn," said Prashaw.
"You have to make some sort of adjustment if you want to stay open," said Bellinger.
And having some humor about a difficult situation doesn't hurt either.
“If you dont have fun with it, you’ll use your mind completely,” said Prashaw.