NEW YORK — The Court Square Diner has been a favorite spot for people who live and work in Long Island City for years. Like so many other restaurants in town, things have been rough.

“Everybody’s trying to make it, trying to survive, you know what I’m saying, and keep as many people working as we can,” said Nick Kanellos, the owner of the diner.

What You Need To Know

  • The Court Square Diner will end table service at 10 p.m. under new state guidelines

  • Curbside pickup and delivery will continue after 10 p.m.

  • The owner of Court Square says the early shutdown of table service could lead to a rush of diners before closing time

  • All bars and restaurants with State Liquor Authority licenses are impacted

The Court Square Diner is one of the restaurants and bars in the five boroughs that will have to stop table service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. under the new state guidelines aimed at bringing COVID-19 numbers down. While the Court Square Diner can still do take out and delivery during those hours, Kanellos isn’t convinced shutting down their dining area will lower infection rates. 

“Now everybody who’s going to come at 11 or 11:30, is going to try and come at 8:30, 9 p.m., so you are actually pushing more people to come faster and create lines,” said Kanellos, who thinks hours of operation should remain the same but education should increase for restaurant owners to follow COVID-19 guidelines to keep customers and workers safe.

Customer Justice Fabor says he also not sure it’s the right way to go.

“It’s kind of premature in my humble opinion — and this is not factually based, this just my pulse on New York City and my community as a whole. I think that’s it’s a little immature," said Fabor.

Another customer, Andre Walker, isn’t sure what Gov. Andrew Cuomo is basing his decision on, and says he’s up in the air about the new guidelines.

“I guess sometimes in life, when you go through pain, some good things come out of it, so hopefully out of the decision, where some people are in pain, some good will eventually come out of this,” said Walker. 

Another Long Island City resident who favored the restrictions said he feels for restaurant and bar owners and workers, but “if we need to make sacrifices to get where we have to be, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.” He doesn’t see anything wrong with it.


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