By Jessica Easthope
“Do you feel like small businesses at this point are being targeted,” Anthony Marsillo, the owner of Gino’s Restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was asked.
“One hundred percent I feel they are,” he told Currents News. “If you go to Costco or Walmart they’re not doing contact tracing, they’re not taking your information when you go in, they’re not taking your temperature. Why is it all on us,” he said.
Anthony says it’s impossible to comply with New York’s ever-changing city and state guidelines and still make a living.
“It hurts, just as we get the ball rolling we had to stop everything, and these are the two busiest weeks of the year we have coming up,” he said.
The Department of Sanitation issued an alert Tuesday Dec. 15 that was sent to New York City’s restaurants saying that by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, outdoor dining needs to be shut down.
“If you have the kind of outdoor dining setup where you can bring it all in, if you don’t where the restaurant has built something more substantial, they can leave it there but secure everything they can secure,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
For Gino’s all of their furniture will have to come in and the tents will have to be taken down, but with a snow storm on the way, takeout and delivery won’t bring in much business either. More than anything, Anthony feels for his employees, especially this time of year.
“Just for our staff alone that rely on these two weeks to carry themselves over with gifts for their families and to pay their bills, it hurts. It hurts,” Anthony said.
Gino’s has relied on their outdoor dining set up to help them survive the pandemic. Even with that, takeout and delivery and the few months they had limited capacity indoors the restaurant has brought in only a quarter of their normal revenue.