‘I’m in shock,’ says restaurant/bar owner about governor’s new COVID rules

WWNY ‘I’m in shock,’ says restaurant/bar owner about governor’s new COVID rules

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - "I’m in shock. I’m just in absolute shock, said Paddock Club owner Robert Dalton after he heard Governor Cuomo’s mandate that bars and restaurants must close daily at 10 p.m.

He says the new rule is going to hurt his Watertown business.

“We have to be open so many hours of the day to make money and stay in businesses. So 10 p.m.? I’m open until 2 a.m. 7 days a week. Now you’re shutting us down again at 10 p.m. I can’t make any money,” he said.

Dalton says making money has already been a challenge during the pandemic. Under the new guidelines, restaurants, bars, and gyms will have to close at 10 p.m. Curbside pickup for takeout and delivery services can continue past 10 p.m.

“We’re all just taking a beating. I don’t know how we’re going to stay afloat. We’re treading water now,” said Dalton.

Meanwhile, Maggie’s on the River in Watertown typically closes at midnight.

“It puts a little bit of a damper having to close at 10 due to the fact that we have other places close earlier and we get all the people in the industry that come out for late night supper and to wind down after their shifts so that’s going to kind of take a little bit away from us, but we’ll make sure we accommodate and bounce back best we can,” said

ZhaZha Prieto, assistant manager, Maggie’s on the River.

Also new Wednesday, Governor Cuomo says private gatherings, such as parties, must be capped at 10 people. Local governments are responsible for enforcement.

“You know, it’s not our desire. We are not going to go door knocking on anybody, but if you’ve got a party that has a lot of people there and we have clearly seen infections from that party, that’s going to be an issue,” said Scott Gray, Jefferson County Legislature chairman.

Gray says that issue could mean a fine or other punitive measures.

“It is important that we have people’s cooperation now more than ever,” he said.

The governor said the state has seen the greatest surges tied to bars and restaurants, private gatherings and gyms. He is hoping these changes will help curb the rise in COVID cases.

The new rules go into effect Friday.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.