Andrea Scanniello, a bartender at The Rookery Bar in Bushwick, will be counting on the tips she get from her “regulars” to make it through the next few months.
Up until this past weekend, she had a second job at another Brooklyn bar. However, after the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions were implemented on Friday, she said that her second job has ended.
“Once the 10 p.m. curfew started, we were kind of like, ‘We’re going to have to pack it up until spring at this point, because it just wasn’t worth it to stay open for that short of amount of time every night,” said Scanniello.
Some Bushwick Bars and nightclubs were used to closing at 4 a.m. before the coronavirus pandemic began. Now, owners of the same establishments are being told to close two hours before midnight, and it is a huge blow.
Places that serve alcohol and have a menu seem to have faired better in the last several days.
“Here wasn’t too different. We already were closing at 11. So, it really didn't make a huge difference,” said Scanniello.
At Union Pizza Works, next door to The Rookery Bar, the owners also told NY1 that they were not seriously impacted by the new curfew.
“During the week, we close at 10 o’clock, and last month we thought we should close, even during the weekend, at 10 o’clock. So for us, it’s not a big, big, big difference,” said Giovanni Gelfini, co-owner of Union Pizza Works.
Gelfini said that he's trying not to complain because nightclubs, in the same neighborhood, haven’t been able to adapt to all of the state's restrictions on businesses with a liquor license.
According to Gelfini, the owner of Lot 45 nightclub said that he’s having a hard time.
“We opened at almost the same time. We always speak [to each other], and he is destroyed,” said Gelfini.
Also on Troutman Avenue, the managers at Sea Wolf-Bushwick said that they didn’t see much of a change over the weekend.
The managers said that their biggest problem hasn’t been with the latest curfew but with the fact that the rules always seem to be changing.
“What we’d really like is more clear regulations from the city and the state. What I’d really like to see is the mayor and the governor getting along,” said Nicole Champion, one of the managers at Sea Wolf-Bushwick.
Champion and her co-manager, Kahiem Rivera, said that the impact the curfew is having on some businesses trickles down to their employees.
“I have friends that work around here, and all of their tips come after 10 o’clock. Like 10 to 12 is primetime for a bar in Bushwick,” said Rivera.
While restaurant employees we spoke to said that new curfew didn’t directly impact them, they said the coronavirus is still hurting the industry. They said they believe that many people are still afraid to eat indoors and are avoiding restaurants until there is more certainty around the virus.