New York’s bar scene decimated by Covid-19 pandemic

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“We could definitely lose three-quarters of the bars we started the year with, especially in New York,” Simo said. “Bars are a volume business; historically, the more people the better.Womply’s data shows recent improvement: Consumer spending on October 5 was 17 percentage points higher than it was on September 29. Nationally, they have moved in the opposite direction.

To save the city’s nightlife industry, Simo says she needs a fundamental overhaul. Intermediate vending machines, for example, could be eliminated, drinks could be served in barrels, and the role of bartenders could be reduced.

Greg Boehm, owner of Cocktail Kingdom – a seller of bar accessories – and a handful of bars in New York City, sees a future in high-priced cocktails.

“The emphasis will be on hospitality and comfort rather than bringing people in and out,” said Boehm, whose establishments include Katana Kitten. “I travel a lot in Tokyo, I have been to hundreds of bars where there are only eight people.”

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