Malliotakis Asks Mayor to Have a Heart When It Comes to Struggling Restaurants
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) recently wrote a letter to Mayor de Blasio requesting clarification on outdoor dining regulations in New York City. Restaurant owners throughout the city have expressed their frustration with the current guidelines, as well as the lack of direction from the mayor and inspectors. Owners are subject to lofty fines for failing to adhere to the current outdoor dining regulations, but the lack of clarity and the number of stringent measures have left owners in the dark.
These owners have suffered relentlessly throughout the COVID pandemic and they now feel that they are being harassed, as multiple inspectors from various agencies are coming to their establishments multiple times a week and sometimes on the same day. They have been repeatedly visited by the New York City Department of Buildings, Department of Transportation, Department of Health, as well as the State Liquor Authority.
In her letter, Malliotakis asked the city to issue guidelines about the issues most frequently noted by compliance inspectors, as well as guidelines regarding outdoor dining setups, with the intent to allow more options, not fewer. Further, limit the number and volume of inspections restaurants are subject to, and direct inspectors to issue warnings and allow restaurant owners to make the necessary adjustments before issuing a fine. Malliotakis hopes clearer guidelines will help restaurant owners stay in compliance and avoid detrimental fines.