For Stephen Gaffney, putting the finishing touches on the well-known Coney Island food spot Paul’s Daughter means a lot this year. 

“Last year was a loss, the first ever" said Gaffney, the manager of the restaurant. 

What You Need To Know

  • City beaches will open on Saturday, May 29

  • Lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Masks will not be required on the sand or in the water 

  • Social distancing will be encouraged

Paul's Daughter has been on the boardwalk since 1951. 

As the city turns the corner on the pandemic, Gaffney is excited for business to pick up again this Memorial Day weekend. 

Photo Credit: Victoria Manna

“We're going to attempt to get back to some kind of service that was as it was for 60-something years," said Gaffney. "I’m excited to see people again. It was very interesting to have people sitting at our bar." 

He was even more excited to hear that city beaches would be back in full swing starting Saturday. On Thursday, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver announced that all public beaches will be open starting this weekend.

“The lifeguards will be out on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting this Saturday," said Silver. "And while we want everyone to have fun this summer our main priority is your safety."

Masks will be required in some areas, including restrooms, but not on the sand or in the water. Social distancing will be encouraged.

For many New Yorkers, the announcement is a sign of healing. 

“I feel like its a symbol. If people can come here and enjoy a beautiful weekend then maybe that means the rest of the world is going to be OK as well," said Park Slope resident Abigail Steckler.