Survey of 500 New York City restaurants finds 83% couldn’t pay full rent in July – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new survey indicates that more than 80% of restaurants and bars in the Big Apple could not pay their rent in July.Melba in Harlem looked busy Monday, and it was. But owner Melba Wilson said the looks can be misleading when it comes to profits right now.

“It’s different when you have a 109 seat restaurant and now we have 68 seats, which we’re really, really thankful for. However, it’s not the same, ”Wilson told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.

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Bad weather can ruin a day too. Some people are still hesitant to dine out and the dining side is suffering.

Wilson estimates that revenues are down about 60% from the same time last year.

“We didn’t pay the rent for July, no. It’s very, very difficult, ”Wilson said.


Out of 500 establishments surveyed, 83% of restaurants and bars could not pay full rent in July and 37% did not pay any rent. This is according to an investigation by the NYC Hospitality Alliance of which Wilson is president.

“We are really facing a crisis among our small businesses,” said Executive Director Andrew Rigie. “To date, only 1 in 10 restaurants have been able to renegotiate their current leases, which means many of these businesses will not be able to survive.”

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Rigie said he understands homeowners have mortgages and property taxes to pay, so for now, they’re hoping the federal government will step in with another round of the paycheck protection program.

“There is also a bill called the Restaurant Act, which would give $ 120 billion in subsidies to local restaurants,” Rigie said.

“I mean, there’s a lot of vacant storefronts, which we all know about, but a lot of places I knew were restaurants and they left,” said Vivian Awner, an Upper West Side resident.

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After months of take-out only and no option to dine inside, many are struggling to make it work.

PLUS: 15 new locations added to New York’s open streets, open restaurant program to allow more outdoor seating

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the open restaurant program – eating on the curb and sidewalks – will continue next year, Gainer reported.

Over 9,000 restaurants have signed up for the program, which has helped, but many are wondering if they will even make it next year.

“What will happen in November when it’s cold?” Wilson wondered.

There are many jobs at stake for owners and workers and this also affects suppliers.

Outdoor dining runs until October 31. He will be back on June 1 of next year.


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