GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan — This is a big weekend for restaurants, as owners, workers and customers are hopeful the return of indoor dining is the first step to business getting back to normal.
Donna Cisco is glad to be back at El Cantinero, one of her favorite restaurants in Greenwich Village.
“I think it’s great,” she said.
The restaurant reopened its indoor dining this weekend, but like everyone else, they have to keep capacity at 25%.
Cisco had her temperature taken when she walked in.
“I think everyone is careful and it’s really important for the community,” she added.
Besides temperature checks, guests also are asked to fill out their contact info as a precaution.
We spoke to the owner of El Cantinero back in December when coronavirus cases were spiking and indoor dining was shutting down.
“It’s very hard and challenging nobody wants to eat outside during December January and February,” said Julian Sanchez, who was getting ready to celebrate his 30th anniversary on University Place. But he wasn’t sure he would survive financially to see a 31st.
Now, with COVID-19 positivity rates dropping, along with hospitalizations and the vaccine being distributed, restaurants can go back to indoor dining at quarter capacity. And there is hope that things will eventually go back to normal.
Still, some people like to eat outside but others are glad to be able get a hot meal without being cold.
“I came here when it was outdoors and it got to cold, now this is terrific,” said Neil Gharpui, one customer. “I couldn’t wait for this to open.”
Sunday is Valentine’s Day and the beginning of the curfew being lifted from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. So on the romantic holiday, it might be nice to show a little love for your favorite restaurant.