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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Local bars, restaurants react to New York's closure mandate

With the mandate, bars and restaurants are still allowed to do takeout and delivery.
Credit: WGRZ
Osteria 166

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Various businesses have been reacting to Governor Andrew Cuomo's mandate that they must close at 8 p.m. Monday night.

That goes for casinos, movie theaters and gyms. 

Bars and restaurants are also impacted. Through the mandate, bars and restaurants will only be allowed to do takeout and delivery. 

There is a lot of emotion being felt by these businesses because this decision to restrict customers from dining-in, and will possibly result in people temporarily being out of work.

Nick Pitillo, the owner of Osteria 166 in downtown Buffalo, who also has a catering business, says 65 people from wait staff to managers have been laid off. They have been told to seek unemployment. 

Even though restaurants are allowed to do delivery and takeout, Pitillo thinks that business model just doesn't work for him. A lot of his customers work downtown at government buildings and a lot of services are closed. 

This decision from the governor was somewhat expected, after the governors of several other states made the decision to restrict dining-in at bars and restaurants. 

"The number one thing is the safety of our employees first and our guests so do we like it? No, but I think we have to hit the bottom to climb back out and the quicker we can get that done the better for everybody," Pitillo said. 

We also heard from an owner of Chefs on the Go in Williamsville, which also operates Chefs in downtown Buffalo. Beginning Tuesday, there will only be drive-thru operations and takeout there.

Chefs does not know how many people they'll need in terms of staffing, because they're not sure how busy they will be.

"We're trying to staff as many as we can but just with the unknown of how busy we're just playing it by ear ourselves as far as staffing we're not sure how busy we're going to be or not going to be," said Mary Beth Billittier, the co-owner of Chefs on the Go.  

What is almost impossible to know is how much this will impact businesses financially -- it is unclear how long these restrictions will last. 

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