An early last call at E's bar and restaurant on the Upper West Side is a buzzkill.
“Of course people don’t want to leave. They all want to stay out. And it's hard to get people who have been drinking out the door," said Mason Walters, a bartender and waiter at E's Bar.
And a lost opportunity to make much-needed money.
"Every hour, is potential, hundreds of dollars, depending on the day of the week," Walters said. "If we close at 12 instead of 11, it’s up to $100 more."
For now, under an extended order from Governor Andrew Cuomo, E’s bar, like every other bar and restaurant in the city, must continue to close at 11 p.m. at least until May 6.
“It’s such an arbitrary, it’s such a capricious rule," said Ethan Hunt, the owner of E's Bar. He says dining and drinking establishments should stay open later and doesn’t understand why his bar must close earlier than other businesses like bowling alleys and pool halls.
Hunt worries about his staff.
“It’s not just my business and my partners' effect, it’s my staff’s effect," Hunt said. "My staff’s cut short of extra earning potential.”
Patrons at E’s say early closure cramps their style.
“I was literally in a bar, March Madness, Final Four game into overtime, and all the bars had to close at 11, exactly when it went to overtime. We had to watch on a television on the sidewalk looking into a bar from the outside because everything was closed," said E's patron Bart Hale.
"When we’re closing at 11, yeah, we all want to stick around. At the same time, we’re all in this together, so there’s very much a sense of community here," said Mary McCarty, an E's regular.
Andrew Rigie, director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, says that restaurants can stay open for longer, safely.
"What we’ve seen from the state’s own contact tracing data is that a very small percentage of these transmissions are coming from highly regulated restaurants, whether it’s indoors or its outdoors where there’s been little to no evidence showing that it’s a problem," Rigie said.
“We really hope the governor changes his mind and enacts the later curfew tomorrow. There’s nothing preventing him from doing that," Hunt said.