Several NYC Restaurants Temporarily Close Due to COVID Spike

Blame it on SantaCon?

After a tumultuous start to the year when vaccines weren’t yet available, by mid November, NYC had announced that all adults were eligible for a booster shot, indicating a welcome semblance to normalcy for the 2021 holiday season. But with the discovery of Omicron at the end of November, the highly contagious variant is now contributing to a new wave of COVID-19 cases within the city, resulting in a recent local positivity rate that doubled in a span of three days.

Due to this spike, restaurants across the city are unexpectedly coping with a cycle not seen for some time: Being forced to temporarily close due to a staff member testing positive.

Eater NY reported that eateries like Di an Di, Contento, and Love, Nelly are just some of the restaurants across the city experiencing this difficult situation. And in recent days, additional spots publicly announcing their own temporary closures include Cozy Royale, Hana Makgeolli, Lalou, Otway, Porcelain NY, and Winona’s. At time of publication, restaurants that made recent similar announcements include Electric Burrito, L’Industrie Pizza, and Yellow Rose.

For many restaurants, the temporary closures allow management to test their staff members for COVID-19 to then reopen at a time that’s been deemed safe for both employees and customers.

The current uptick in COVID cases has also impacted cultural institutions across the city. Broadway shows have been also been canceled, in addition to programming at the Alvin Ailey and Papi Juice, a collective for queer and trans people of color.

In a press conference held on Thursday by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his team, it was announced that starting on Monday, December 20, the city will distribute half a million at-home COVID-19 tests and one million masks for free to New Yorkers via community-based organizations.

Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.