Staten Island restaurant owners and workers ripped the city coronavirus policy banning indoor dining Tuesday, as they announced a suit against the mayor and governor.
“Governor [Andrew] Cuomo, Mayor [Bill] de Blasio, open us up right now so that we can feed our families,” demanded Rob DeLuca, owner of Staten Island’s DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant, at a press conference outside the Richmond County Supreme Court, where a lawsuit fighting the ban was filed late Monday.
The governor shut down the city’s bars and restaurants in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has since allowed restaurants throughout the state to open for indoor dining at limited capacity — except for city eateries.
“Enough is enough,” DeLuca, a plaintiff in the case, said as several dozen other restaurant owners and workers gathered in support. “We feel like we’re being discriminated against. We’re being bullied, and my mother always told me, always stand up to bullies.”
The lawsuit filed by Staten Island restaurant Osteria Bocelli and the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue points out the inconsistency of the executive order that allows neighboring areas to host people to dine inside while Staten Islanders cannot.
“According to Governor Cuomo’s logic, it is dangerous to eat indoors at Osteria Bocelli in suburban Staten Island, but it is safe to dine indoors in restaurants located in Yonkers, White Plains, Hempstead and the overcrowded Hamptons,” the suit charges.