Lady Gaga's father joins NYC restaurants suing city over indoor dining ban
'Once the weather gets cold, we're pretty much out of business,' Joe Germanotta says
Lady Gaga’s father, a restaurant owner in New York City, is joining other restaurant owners who are suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city's mandated dining restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Once the weather gets cold, we're pretty much out of business,” Joe Germanotta, the owner of Joanne Trattoria in Manhattan, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday.
“We're able to have about 20 seats out front now. I've got a patio with a couple of seats on the back, but without the indoor dining, I'm just about breaking even.”
He stressed that "it's going to be tight especially when the winter hits."
New York City only allows outdoor dining and takeout, while Cuomo has OK'd the rest of the state to resume indoor eating. De Blasio in August said that he doesn't have a plan to resume indoor dining, citing the ongoing risk of COVID-19. And last week, de Blasio suggested the resumption of indoor dining could hinge on the development of a vaccine, which could take until next year or longer.
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More than 300 restaurants have joined the class-action lawsuit seeking over $2 billion in damages as a result of New York City’s indoor dining ban, Eater New York reported.
Germanotta’s attorney James Mermigis told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday that he is filing an injunction on Monday and is “hoping to have a hearing next week.”
“If they're not going to give us the indoor dining, we've got to go out and get it ourselves and that's the bottom line,” Mermigis said. “We have to force them to show us the science.”
He then pointed out that “Manhattan right now has one of the lowest infection rates in the state.”
“It is ridiculous that New York dining indoors in Manhattan is not allowed and we're going to have to go get it ourselves,” he added.
In a statement Richard Azzopardi, Chief spokesman and Senior Deputy Communications Director for Gov. Cuomo said, “The bottom line is that New York City was hit the hardest and the Governor took action to reduce infections… We understand that some people are unhappy, but better unhappy than sick or worse.”
A statement from de Blasio’s office said, “We've seen troubling reports from localities that have restarted economic activity too quickly.”
“In New York City ... we're taking a different approach, and it's working,” the statement continued. “We'll continue to evaluate this extremely dynamic health situation throughout the fall.”
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“The whole situation affects the entire supply chain from, the food purveyors, the beverage purveyors, the employees that I have,” Germanotta said on Sunday. “It affects the governor and the city and the tax base.”
He went on to say that he has taken steps to open safely including hanging Plexiglass between all the tables.
“In fact, we have some Plexiglass hanging outside between the tables,” he continued, adding that “even the bar is sectioned off so that customers can come in and sit at the bar, or they can sit at any of the tables and there's a physical barrier between them.”
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He also noted that he has “reduced the number of seats so that even the walkways throughout the restaurant are social distanced.”
Fox News’ Joshua Nelson and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.