Upstate New York Eating places Sue Reopening Indoor Eating places: “It is All About Equality”

New York state restaurant owner Paul Santora said Thursday he is suing Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo for banning indoor dining amid the coronavirus pandemic because “equality is open to us”.

“It’s losing a holiday season,” the owner of Santora’s Pizza Pub and Grill in Erie County told Fox & Friends on Thursday, emphasizing that restaurants in western New York, which consists of eight counties, are only closed in Erie County .

“Everywhere else in our district and everywhere around us we are basically working hard [are] Having the best season of your career and it’s just around the corner from us, “said Santora.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions imposed by Cuomo, he is not allowed to host customers for indoor meals, despite the state releasing contact tracing data showing that bars and restaurants were only 1.43% of COVID in the three months ended November 19 cases.

Erie County is considered the “Orange Zone” in New York State. Eating indoors is prohibited in “orange zones,” so New York rules allow restaurants, bars, cafes, and other restaurants to provide al fresco, takeaway, and delivery services only.

“We really need a consistent message for us,” said Santora. “One day they go and focus on the percentage of positive cases and turn us off on orange. Then it suddenly changes the hospital beds and keeps us orange.”

“It only appears to be for one county, one area, and one particular store,” added Santora, referring to the restaurant business and stressing that any other industry is “wide open.”

Some Erie County customers now frequently visit restaurants in nearby Niagara County, which is considered the “yellow zone” and allows indoor and outdoor dining.

As of Thursday, Erie County has reported nearly 40,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 1,130 deaths.

Santora joined dozens of other restaurant and bar owners in New York upstate as they oppose the indoor dining ban by suing Cuomo to get it reopened.

WKBW-TV reported Monday that, according to the owners of another New York upstate company involved in the lawsuit, a judge is “calling on the state to compromise on bars and restaurants or come up with scientific evidence in order to address the COVID-19 -Restrictions on business support. ”

Santora’s attorney Corey Hogan told Fox & Friends on Thursday, the last time he and his client were in court, that they had raised New York state numbers that bars and restaurants were low from September to November Part of the cases.


“These were numbers that Governor Cuomo himself mentioned in his December 11 press conference,” Hogan said. “He showed us that numbers are numbers, they don’t lie.”

“And we suggested that the judge forget about the constitutional issues and look at fairness,” he continued. “The state itself has admitted that restaurants are not the problem. Governor Cuomo said that. He also said that hair salons are not the problem. They have been closed. Now they are allowed to open.”

“So we said to the judge, ‘Judge, that doesn’t make sense. There is no scientific, industrial, medical, or legal justification for keeping restaurants closed. It was you.” Closed for five months of the past ten months, please leave them open ‘and he suggested we go back to court, “Hogan continued.

A spokesman for Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

In a previous statement responding to a lawsuit from another Erie County business owner, a Cuomo spokesman said, “We are being sued virtually every day for virtually every action taken during this pandemic, and frankly, I’ve got an overview lost all frivolous lawsuits against which lawsuit was brought against us. ”

“We know that some people are unhappy, but it is better to be unhappy than sick or worse,” added the spokesman.

Santora noted Thursday that if he and other New York state business owners are banned from reopening for indoor dining, they will “slowly deteriorate”.


“Restaurants in western New York, especially in Buffalo, are part of the culture, and losing that culture is very demanding, and we don’t want to achieve that,” Santora said. “We want to open.”

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