LIC Hotel which offers COVID-19 tests before entry sees raucous evenings

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Hotel offering rapid COVID-19 tests to its customers hosts rooftop parties

The Ravel Hotel in Long Island City is in hot water after hosting a number of noisy weekend parties in its rooftop pool lounge, reports Gothamist. People flocked to the roof after it opened on June 25, in part because it announced rapid COVID-19 testing for all customers before entry. Once inside, the social distancing measures seemed extremely relaxed – many clients were filmed without masks and standing in crowded areas around the pool lounge.

Rapid tests have been touted by the hotel as creating a “haven” for revelers, but Gothamist reports that the process, called Abbott tests, has been questioned by the FDA and other experts in the field for its rate of inaccuracy in detecting the virus. The medical partner with whom the hotel works to administer the tests has also been criticized for overcharging laboratory costs for COVID-19 tests in the past. Ravel’s tests cost customers $ 35 with insurance and $ 50 without insurance, and some people had to wait up to an hour and a half to get their results before they could enter the salon.

Hotel co-owner Seth Levine told Gothamist that Ravel “never guaranteed that what we do is 100% effective.”

An official with the mayor’s office told the publication that the city is following the hotel owners to make sure they meet guidelines for social distancing, and the city’s nightlife office confirmed that ‘They had also responded to Ravel’s complaints and were in contact with the operators on the situation.

In other news

– The Greenpoint pizzeria, popular with crowds, Paulie Gee’s offers takeout for the first time in six years.

– A new non-profit group in the Bronx has raised $ 50,000 to provide financial support to the looted stores along Fordham Road, but the owners say they have not yet received any money.

– Grocer Trader Joe’s is opening a new location in Long Island City in early 2021.

– Restaurant spokesperson Fieldtrip, chef JJ Johnson’s famous fast and relaxed rice bowl store, celebrates its first anniversary with the introduction of a new bowl of jerk lamb meatballs with calico rice salad. The restaurant will also distribute free ice cream from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. today.

– A large open-air space will be launched on Arthur Avenue from this weekend, stretching from 188th Street East to Crescent Avenue. 25 restaurants in the Little Italy district of the Bronx participate in the outdoor dining, including the Emilia Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue and Mario’s Restaurant.

– The Thai restaurant Bangkok BAR is launching an eight-course outdoor dining menu this month for $ 69 which will be served in one of the courses in Industry City, a large food hall and a shopping center in Sunset Park. The menu includes dishes like Yum Pla Dok Foo, crispy fish wafers with mango salad and Pla Muk Yang, grilled squids with seafood sauce. Dinners are offered Thursday and Friday evening in July.

– An existential crisis:

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