Restaurants trail for survival in coronavirus-hit Brooklyn as payments mount, gross sales plummet

By | March 26, 2020

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Every day, they obtain themselves heading deeper into miserable territory.

Restaurant owners within the Current York City borough of Brooklyn – which has one among the final discover concentrations of coronavirus cases within the U.S. – expose Fox News they’re now scrambling to preserve their companies afloat as payments are mounting and gross sales are plummeting one day of the outbreak. Town is offering some financial back, however they argue extra is essential while an April 1 deadline for many to pay thousands in rent is rapid-drawing near.

“It’s been catastrophic. It’s devastating. We are doing takeout and birth and counting on the kindness and generosity of our neighborhood to preserve us originate,” Robin Wertheimer, co-proprietor of Werkstatt, said this week while a minute crew manned the kitchen and bar counter of the Austrian eatery.

Wertheimer told Fox News that 'all of my friends who have businesses around here have all closed and we’re hanging on by a thread.' She says one of the reasons she has her doors open 'is so that we can keep a few of our employees going.'

Wertheimer urged Fox News that ‘all of my guests who possess companies around right here possess all closed and we’re hanging on by a thread.’ She says one among the explanations she has her doors originate ‘is so that we can preserve a few of our workers going.’
(Greg Norman/Fox News)


Current York City Mayor Invoice de Blasio ordered all bars and eating areas to shut their dining rooms and swap to take-out and birth simplest 10 days within the past in a relate to cease the unfold of the coronavirus. Since then, the exchange of confirmed cases within the Gargantuan Apple has skyrocketed to 37,258 as of Thursday afternoon – forcing alternate owners to continuously revise their playbooks to adapt.

“It’s a day-to-day thing, we don’t know what’s going to happen the next day, we don’t know if our suppliers are going with the intention to provide us the equal ingredients, we don’t know if our crew is going to be healthy ample to come assist in, we don’t know if we’re going be shut down in 24 hours,” Wertheimer said. “We feature as a segment of the financial system, which is fully within the crapper. Nonetheless on the equal time we possess folks which are paycheck to paycheck and that’s the nature of this alternate, it’s continuously been paycheck to paycheck.”

Across town at Greenwood Park, this spring is now not the one Larry Hyland envisioned.

Heat climate continuously draws huge crowds to this sprawling indoor and outside bar and restaurant, converted out of a ragged gas converse and mechanic store. On a frequent day, locals would possibly maybe presumably maybe be viewed there sharing food and pitchers of craft beer, while families steal to let their kids play in a designated outside residing.

Hyland says it's been a 'pretty chaotic scramble' since the COVID-19 containment measures went into effect in New York City. 'We’ve already resigned to the fact that at a minimum we’ll be set back a year but at the end of the day, if our business stays open, and everyone stays healthy, we are thankful,' he added. (Photo provided)

Hyland says it has been a ‘fine chaotic trail’ since the COVID-19 containment measures went into enact in Current York City. ‘We’ve already resigned to the proven truth that at a minimum we’ll be converse assist a year however on the terminate of the day, if our alternate stays originate, and everybody stays healthy, we are thankful,’ he added. (Photograph offered)


Now attributable to of the coronavirus, Hyland, its co-proprietor, has shut down Greenwood Park fully.

“We suddenly toyed with the premise of take-out and birth however rapid realized that it wasn’t price hanging our crew in damage’s formula to damage even, at simplest,” Hyland urged Fox News. “So, in a blink of an perceive we needed to put collectively for the worst. We cleaned out all of our inventory and offered it to our crew and urged them to appear at for unemployment.”

Hyland says the timing of the coronavirus outbreak has hit his alternate specifically hard, as it leans on seasonal foot website website visitors for a complete lot of its gross sales. Now he has converse up a GoFundMe page and is encouraging customers to steal gift playing cards to spend when things return to celebrated, while making an are trying to acquire diverse process of reduction.

“We are residing off of financial savings one day of the iciness months and start to mosey assist into the unlit in March and April,” he says. “We need the relaxation of the summer season to set money and get us via the iciness again. So, irrespective of what, we’re going to battle – however for every and each extra month we are closed it becomes extra excessive.”


He added that “things must level-headed preserve closed till the curve is flattened however the govt.wishes to be giving minute companies extra make stronger from zero-interest loans to stepping in with directives so everybody appears to be now not getting hounded for payments they clearly can’t pay, however possess each and each intention to as soon as right here’s over.”

Current York City is making an are trying to back restaurant owners which are struggling by offering grants and some of their possess zero-interest loans.

A spokesperson for the NYC Division of Runt Industrial Products and services urged Fox News on Wednesday that it has permitted 155 capabilities for a total of $1.14 million in grants to this display conceal back companies camouflage segment of their payroll charges. The division also says it’s processing bigger than 10,000 pre-capabilities for zero-interest loans and anticipates awarding around $20 million in that regard.

Cena normally has its windows wide-open on warm days, welcoming diners in the neighborhood and commuters returning home from work on the subway. One of its co-owners is now hoping for relief when it comes to paying rent. 'In my opinion it just doesn’t make any sense, it’s not fair for some people like myself to be on the hook for rent – we’re not making any money – while other people are still saying ‘pay me' he says. (Greg Norman/Fox News)

Cena fundamentally has its windows huge-originate on warm days, welcoming diners within the neighborhood and commuters returning house from work on the subway. One of its co-owners is now hoping for reduction in phrases of paying rent. ‘In my realizing it honest doesn’t produce any sense, it’s now not beautiful for some folks like myself to be on the hook for rent – we’re now not making any money – while varied folks are level-headed asserting ‘pay me’ he says. (Greg Norman/Fox News)

Aron Watman, who helps scramble the restaurant Cena, says he is amongst these making an are trying for that city wait on – however what he if truth be told is hoping for is a freeze in paying rent.

Current York Insist Sen. Michael Gianaris has launched a invoice to raze honest that, however as of Thursday, it stays caught in committee.

“I got my rent assertion from our landlord at Cena … and it’s honest like nothing is going on. There wasn’t even a relate on there like ‘Hello, tough instances, pay what it is probably you’ll presumably, we’ll defer this’ – it was as soon as honest like ‘right here’s the rent assertion!’ prefer it was as soon as auto-generated from a computer,” Watman said.


The taqueria co-proprietor says he first tried retaining alternate originate for take-out and birth, however seen gross sales drop around 75 percent. Then Cena closed, he said, after workers grew to change into inquisitive about catching the coronavirus and stopped showing up for work.

“They don’t desire to get sick, they possess got families, so I don’t possess any one to work it,” Watman said.

Admire Greenwood Park, he also has converse up a GoFundMe page – and says folks possess contacted him to back get a Venmo account going for donations – something that Werkstatt is already doing.

As for when their dining rooms will be allowed to seat guests again, the mayor’s place of business tells Fox News there is “no timetable.”

“We’ll re-originate when it is safe to raze so,” Freddi Goldstein, de Blasio’s press secretary, said in an announcement.


In the intervening time, Watman says the neighborhood “positively has been supportive and is being extra proactive than I’d possess imagined.”

“If I come out of this thing in six months, whatever it is, and additionally they’re like ‘right here’s a huge stack of payments’, then I’m going to be in some anguish,” he added. “Nonetheless if I come out of this thing and lifestyles resumes as if it had honest been paused, then we’ll be ravishing.”