SEVERE WX : Wind Chill Advisory View Alerts

COVID presents difficult decisions for restaurant owners

What could be more devastating than the government shutting down your beloved business due to a global pandemic? Making the tough decision to shutter it yourself.

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 5:31 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 6:04 PM

UTICA, NY - What could be more devastating than the government shutting down your beloved business due to a global pandemic? Making the tough decision to shutter it yourself.

"It's not safe. The public does not feel safe. The staff does not feel safe. I don't feel safe putting our staff and our employees in harm's way," says Francis Pezzolanella, owner of Ocean Blue in downtown Utica.

Ocean Blue has moved to takeout only. Knowing that COVID-19 would be a long-term issue. They've also moved to an online marketplace, bringing the consumer on board in the cookng process. They made these moves in the wake of record-high new cases in Oneida County.

"We've shifted to direct to consumer. We're shipping food directly out of our kitchen, packaging it up, shipping it with dry ice and ice packs and getting almost at home meals that you finish it off and cook it at home," says Pezzolanella.

They deliver locally and ship to cities around the country that have shut down.

Pezzolanella's new venture, Nostro, is on hold, likely until the spring.

"Nostro's designed to be a party, and that's the last thing we could have right now, so when we could open up as a party, we're gonna open it back up," says Pezzolanella.

The Celtic Harp, on Varick Street in Utica, broke the bad news on their Facebook page Friday: they're closing at 10:00 p.m. Saturday until it's safe to reopen.

Iconic by Chesterfield, in the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton, relied heavily on business travelers - a market share that's been decimated by the pandemic.

"During the week, it was amazing. You would think weekdays were weekends for us here because we heavily relied on business travelers," says manager Rachael Russo.

"I'm just not sure if, like, the community is aware that we do offer spaced out indoor seating, we have the mezzanine for even more spaced out seating. It's beautiful up there. Aesthetics are great. Also now, curbside and takeout, again, something we never did before until post-COVID," ays Russo.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1309403

Reported Deaths: 41974
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1634647942
Kings1605728149
Suffolk1327482661
Nassau1187352597
Bronx1092905316
Westchester875701832
New York781983480
Erie536051407
Richmond464421394
Monroe45400804
Rockland32660821
Orange29753661
Onondaga28476541
Dutchess17424330
Oneida17346369
Albany17045266
Niagara12602251
Broome11657269
Saratoga968986
Schenectady9021135
Ulster8017199
Rensselaer7262109
Putnam674875
Chautauqua584470
Chemung5739109
Oswego505974
Ontario485583
Steuben4719131
Cayuga460874
Sullivan395449
St. Lawrence385563
Herkimer383967
Wayne381156
Genesee3803101
Cattaraugus352862
Jefferson338827
Madison324376
Livingston281542
Tompkins277925
Cortland271054
Columbia264573
Allegany241375
Montgomery234277
Clinton231718
Tioga229454
Wyoming228444
Fulton224155
Warren220142
Greene214063
Orleans200371
Chenango185044
Otsego180324
Washington161227
Lewis158224
Seneca127647
Franklin12699
Delaware106727
Essex101721
Schoharie9436
Yates86320
Schuyler74510
Hamilton1611
Unassigned62117
Out of NY0168
Rome
Mostly Cloudy
15° wxIcon
Hi: 15° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 0°
Binghamton
Mostly Cloudy
16° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 2°
Rome
Mostly Cloudy
15° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 0°
Rome
Mostly Cloudy
15° wxIcon
Hi: 8° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: 0°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve