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Restaurant and bar owners forced to lay off workers

Bars and restaurants no longer will be allowed to have dine-in customers, and that means an awful lot of loss in revenue as well as a loss of jobs.

Posted: Mar 16, 2020 6:54 PM
Updated: Mar 17, 2020 9:22 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - Governor Cuomo’s order on Monday to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, came with a lot of job loss.

Cuomo ordered all bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m. Monday night until further notice, to dine-in patrons. Bars and restaurants will only be allowed to have takeout and delivery service.

Michael Patrick Griffin, owner of Griffin’s Pub in downtown Utica, says this has been a difficult day and a day he never imagined would happen, that a pandemic would basically shut down people’s everyday lives, “The whole industry, the whole restaurant industry, is going to be crippled for a long time.”

Griffin says he had to let his night staff go and keep his daytime staff to help prepare food and delivery orders, “We have no idea how everybody is going to be paying their bills, we don’t know yet, because we can’t afford to pay them because we have nothing coming in.”

Griffin says he hopes that people in the community will order from small businesses to help keep them afloat, but he doesn’t know what will happen because so many businesses have so many of their workers working from home and a large portion of his business is from people who work in the downtown area, "We’ll see in the next few days. If it’s not too good, will just have to shut down.”

Michael Grande, general manager of One Genny at 1 Genesee St. in New Hartford, says he decided to close the restaurant and bar on Monday after hearing the governor’s order to shut down at 8 p.m. He says management wanted to take it all in, talk to employees, some of which had to be laid off, and prepare to focus on take out and delivery orders, “Just kind of gather our thoughts and kind of figure the rest of the week out.”

Grande, whose family also owns the chain of Grande’s restaurants in the area, says it is difficult to tell some of his hard working and dedicated employees, that he has to let them go, at least temporarily, “Everyone has been pretty much understanding. We had some folks who this is their second job, so some of them said let the people who do this as their primary income, let them have the shifts.”

Grande says hopefully this won’t last too long.

He says this is a tough time in the world in which we live, “I’m a little nervous like everybody else, but I think this is a time where we can all come together and I think we’re all going to be different from it, but I think we’re all going to be better in the long run.”

Finally, Johnny Tebo, owner of Johnny’s pizza on Genesee Street in the Bagg’s Square area in downtown Utica says most of his business is takeout and delivery anyway, but he says who knows if people are going to order out or now going to cook more at home, “I'm hoping delivery and take out will pick up to compensate the loss of dine-in. But once people are out of work, I think they will start to tighten their budgets and it will hurt us as a whole.”

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 448052

Reported Deaths: 33085
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens714747239
Kings667377314
Bronx524684940
Nassau460522201
Suffolk459562011
Westchester377181454
New York329383178
Richmond156891085
Rockland14747675
Orange11760498
Erie10873689
Monroe5857289
Dutchess5050153
Onondaga4185205
Albany2979134
Oneida2369123
Ulster223595
Niagara1707101
Putnam156963
Sullivan156848
Broome145069
Schenectady137448
Saratoga98517
Rensselaer89542
Columbia58037
Chautauqua5359
Madison48417
Ontario45435
Oswego4183
Tompkins3900
Warren35433
Steuben34242
Fulton33124
Otsego3245
Orleans32254
Greene31918
Herkimer31810
St. Lawrence3144
Genesee3095
Wayne3065
Chemung3053
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2496
Chenango2487
Tioga22225
Montgomery2194
Livingston2018
Cayuga1952
Jefferson1600
Essex1570
Clinton1545
Cortland1500
Wyoming1315
Delaware1294
Seneca1053
Allegany951
Schoharie830
Franklin640
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler370
Hamilton140
Unassigned019
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