Restaurant owner warms up to supporter Mayor Adams


It was a long, brutal run for restaurants under Bill de Blasio – and some survivors are finally hoping the mayor’s office has a friendly ear.

Eric Adams – openly vegan with fancy food tastes – celebrated his November 2 election in luxury hangouts Zero Bond and Casa Cipriani. On December 25 and January 4, respectively – before and after his oaths – Adams appeared twice at the prestigious Hangout Nello on Madison Avenue.

The latter was the day Adams famously called cooks and dishwashers “low skill.” But some restaurant owners say Adams, himself a former restaurant worker, has already done more to address their problems than De Blasio has done in eight years.

“I was able to talk [Adams] He was the first mayor to speak twice about what the restaurants wanted, and the staff at our kitchen, ”Nello owner Thomas Makkos told SideDish.

Makkos is among the number of restaurateurs hoping this will be a turning point for the industry.

“It feels like this mayor is looking to keep us in business instead of keeping us out of business. That’s how it felt in the past – like we don’t work together,” said Aristotle “Telly” Hatzigorgio, CEO of Lure Group. Chelsea has Slate and Clinton Hall, with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island.

Jordan Coleman and Forest Whitaker held talks with Mayor Adams
Actors Jordan Coleman and Forest Whitaker rubbed elbows at the Zero Bond Mayor-Elect Eric Adams Celebration Party.
Getty Images for a Better Life

Hatzigorgio, who organized a fundraiser for Adams last fall, said he hopes the Adams administration will issue “more warnings before it blasts restaurants with thousands of dollars in violations.”

More broadly, Adams has begun floating the idea of ​​hiring a “restaurant sar” to help restaurants cut the city’s red tape – especially when it comes to opening a new location.

“There are so many good people working really hard in the city right now, and this helps them to support the restaurant and nightlife sector as effectively as possible,” said Andrew Rigi, director of the Hospitality Alliance of NYC. ”The idea.

Representatives for the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.

Exterior of Nello with red awning
Adams was impressed by Nello’s owner Thomas Makkos visiting the kitchen to talk to the staff.
Seth Gottfried

Specifically, the restaurant could have better coordination between the small business services department of the city of Zar and the food and beverage partnerships within it, as well as the nightlife office within the mayor’s media and entertainment office, Rigi said.

At this time, Rigi added that the Department of Buildings and the FDNY frequently provide conflicting information about restaurant buildouts.

“Organized inspections help to ensure that owners have a good clarity on what they need to do to open their businesses,” Rigi said. “We need to streamline the process to open restaurants, cut red tape and integrate better so restaurants can open faster.”

Outside the Clinton Hall restaurant
Lure Group CEO Aristotle “Telly” Hatzigorzio, owner of Clinton Hall, credits Adams with high marks.
Stefano Giovannini

“It can take months to open a restaurant. It’s rough, and every postponement and delay costs money,” Hutzigorgio added. We are trying to create jobs and pay taxes and get people jobs.

Last week, Adams signed an executive order mandating city agencies to be “business friendly” enough to “reduce unnecessary fines and penalties” and “cut the red bar.”

“If you just open a business, if you make a mistake, you shouldn’t be hit with a penalty that prevents you from opening your doors,” Adams said.

Ja Rule embraces Adams
Rapper Ja Rule embraces the then mayor-elect on Zero Bond.
Paul Martinka

Adams was one of 28 mayors to sign a letter to Congress urging federal lawmakers to replenish the restaurant regeneration fund – particularly the global supply chain issues and the Omicron mess that is already hurting the struggling industry. About 100,000 restaurants and bars averaged $ 272,000.

That was before the lack of money – 177,000 extra applicants more and drier. In New York, according to a report by state regulator Thomas DiNapoli, only 28% of the award-winning 5,500 restaurants are in low- or middle-income communities.

“When I became mayor of this city, it was a city where nightlife lives and grows,” said Jaime Rule, Forest Whitaker, Chris Rock and Eric Schmidt during Adams Zero Bond during his election night. “Not just Manhattan. We’re going to the South Bronx, South Jamaica Queens, Staten Island. It’s putting all the people into a good nightlife because it’s jobs.

Mayor Adams speaks at his triumph over Zero Bond.
The owner of some eateries has floated the idea that the mayor – a vegan who likes dinner – should hire restaurant sovereigns.
Getty Images for a Better Life

Restaurants like Hatzigeorgiou also want to bring back the go-to cocktail program.

“This creates a critical revenue stream for many restaurants,” Hatzigorzio said.

Currently, restaurants that have survived the epidemic – including the new Omicron wave – need all the help they can get.

“Business has fallen by 50 to 60 percent in the last three weeks. People are scared to go out or they have been infected,” Makkos said, adding that supply chain issues have caused food prices to double.

Dover Soul, for example, has risen from $ 16 to $ 31 – but they are eating up the cost because of their well-known stratosphere.

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