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NYC Reopens

‘We Might Not Make It’: The Math Simply Doesn’t Work for NYC Restaurants

Even New York City’s most successful restaurateurs are struggling with the harsh economic realities wrought by the pandemic.

A sign notifies customers to keep a mask on while returning to tables at Crown Shy in downtown Manhattan. New York City will allow indoor dining at 25% capacity from Sept. 30.

A sign notifies customers to keep a mask on while returning to tables at Crown Shy in downtown Manhattan. New York City will allow indoor dining at 25% capacity from Sept. 30.

Photographer: David Dee Delgado/Bloomberg

For more and more New York City restaurants, the math isn’t working.

Even as they prepare to reopen indoor dining on Sept. 30 after a six-month, pandemic-induced shutdown, many restaurateurs worry they will struggle merely to get by. A mandated cap on capacity will guarantee that three out of four tables stay empty. And as fall turns to winter, outdoor dining will become even less attractive. Everyone agrees more establishments will close for good.