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Court reinstates 11 p.m. curfew for restaurants suing New York state

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According to court documents, a state appeals court reinstated the curfew after it was lifted for those more than 90 restaurants alone.

BUFFALO, NY A group of restaurants and bars in western New York that had won a lawsuit to stay open after the 11 p.m. curfew in New York will have to close again at that time.

According to court documents, a state appeals court reinstated the curfew after it was lifted for just those 90 restaurants.

Lawyer Tom Eoannou, who is unrelated to this case, explained what happened.

“Originally, Judge Walker, in his February 27 ruling, allowed the bars to remain open. That decision was turned to the Appeal Division, and today five Appeal Division justices sided with Governor Cuomo and indicated and ordered that all restaurants in western New York, including including these 90 must be closed at 11 pm, ”said Eoannou.

He added, “I understand that restaurateurs have done a tremendous job showing that opening overtime scientifically does not increase the risk of COVID. So the Appeal Division said they had until May 8 to submit their briefs to find out more. argument.”

For the restaurateurs involved in the case, the decision is disheartening and confusing.

“I’m a little numb at this point. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions last year. From the opening, to the closing, to the layoff, to the loss of a lot of money. been very, very difficult, and the biggest impact is on our employees and the number of people it affects is the hardest part, ”said KC Mullett, owner of Neat Restaurant in Williamsville.

Mullett told 2 On Your Side that restaurants are following all guidelines, from social distancing to putting up dividers and more. He said the curfew, as well as the rule to order food with alcohol, just doesn’t make sense.

“That’s the most frustrating part, why is 11 p.m.? Why not 11:30 p.m.? Why not midnight? Why not 1 a.m.? We make sure all of our clients wear masks and social distancing, and we’re really on top of that. … Everyone follows the protocols that they have established, and I just don’t understand the 11pm rule at all. ”

It comes as the governor extended the 11-hour curfew statewide until May 6.

New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt and his Republican colleagues on Thursday called for the rule to be lifted, calling it unscientific and saying it is killing restaurants.

“I am disappointed. I am frustrated and I will continue to fight for the restaurants and bars in our community,” said New York State Senator Edward Rath (right) of the 61st Senate.

He added: “New York State needs to pull itself together. It needs to reverse these restrictions because nothing changes from 10:59 p.m. to 11:01 p.m. in restaurants. … Let’s reverse these crazy regulations, and help our restaurants recover. 100% standing. “

Meanwhile, State Senator Sean Ryan believes COVID restrictions will remain in place until at least July 4.

“As we vaccinate more and more people, we can start to lift these restrictions. But right now, western New York is experiencing a severe case of spring fever, and it shows in our COVID rates and hospitalization rates, ”said Ryan (D) of the 60th Senate District.

Regarding the more than 90 restaurants involved in the lawsuit, their lawyers told 2 On Your Side that it was not over and that they would return to court on Friday to continue their efforts to lift the curfew.

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