NYC gave up 8,550 parking spots for al fresco dining amid COVID

They have an appetite for obstruction!

Restaurants have gobbled up around 8,550 publicly-owned curbside parking spots for their outdoor seating set-ups since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to city data.

Since last June, the mayor and Department of Transportation have let eateries build the dining areas in the now-former spots outside their storefronts, as indoor eating was restricted amid the pandemic.

Around 11,500 restaurants joined the program, of which about 5,700 have chosen to set up shop along the curb. That adds up to “roughly” 8,550 spots transformed — out of around 3 million total parking spots across the five boroughs, City Hall spokesman Mitch Schwartz said.


For the operators of TRU Astoria cafe on Ditmars Boulevard, the extra space was well worth the trade-off — as business has “more than doubled”

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Walz will end all COVID restrictions by July 1, or sooner if 70% get vaccinated

May 6—Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will end all of his statewide coronavirus restrictions by July 1 — or sooner if 70 percent of residents older than 16 get vaccinated, his office announced Thursday.

Yes, all restrictions: restaurant closing hours, church capacity, 6-foot distancing, and yes, the statewide mask mandate.

“We’re here, we’re here, we’re here,” Walz said in a statewide address at noon, in which he outlined a three-phase plan that would ease restaurant and bar rules beginning Friday and eliminate nearly all restrictions by Memorial Day weekend.

He and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm still cautioned that the pandemic isn’t over, Minnesotans are still getting sick and dying, and that some individuals — especially unvaccinated people — should still avoid crowded indoor spaces and continue to wear their masks.

The July 1-or-sooner date will be the final phase of the plan that will begin Friday with eliminating early closing times

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Help Sacramento CA restaurants survive COVID work shortage


Manuel Gomez, a server at Burgers and Brew in midtown Sacramento, takes stools and chairs outside for diners Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, after the state announced the stay-at-home order was lifted for the greater Sacramento region. Restaurants are feeling the effects of a nationwide staffing shortage, but customers can help by following a few simple tips.

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After more than a year of enjoying our favorite restaurants in takeout boxes and saying goodbye to beloved institutions that folded under COVID-19 restrictions, Sacramentans are eager to dine out again. Unfortunately, most restaurants aren’t ready. The service industry is being squeezed by nationwide labor shortage.

“Many restaurants are overwhelmed just trying to serve 25% of their usual indoor customers with spartan staffs,” The Sacramento Bee’s Benjy Egel reported. “Sacramento-area restaurants and bars employ 17,000 fewer people now than they did a year ago, a drop of nearly 25%, according

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BirchTree Bread Company in Worcester temporarily closes after employee tests positive for COVID

BirchTree Bread Company

The logo for BirchTree Bread Company hangs above the counter at its location in Worcester’s Canal District. (MassLive Photo)

One of the Canal District’s most popular restaurants will be closed temporarily after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

BirchTree Bread Company in Worcester announced on Thursday that it will be closed until further notice after learning a team member tested positive for the virus. The employee worked on Thursday and was last in the restaurant that morning, BirchTree said in a Facebook post.

Employees who have been in contact with the person who tested positive will receive COVID tests. The restaurant will be deep cleaned and sanitized while it’s closed.

“The safety of our guests, staff and their families are of the utmost importance to us, and we are committed to doing all we can to protect them to the best of our ability,” the restaurant

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