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The owner of Mixed Greens Cafe, a Kosher Israel restaurant in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, received a citation for having his doors open. On video, the owner of the restaurant is shocked to find that having his doors open caught him a citation.
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch tweeted "Why would anyone want to open a business in NYC?? A cafe in our district today received a summons for having their doors open! They were adhering to the law by banning indoor/outdoor dining, & they were only open for takeout."
"You ticket me because my doors are open, sir? I don't understand," the owner said, "I am struggling here every single day. There was nobody in the store—we only have take-out."
The city inspector says he knows he is being filmed, and the restaurant owner informs him that there’s no one in the restaurant, they’ve been operating safely, and his doors are open for air flow and take-out orders.
Online viewers quickly came to the restaurant's defense, asserting that the inspector had wrongfully issued the summons.
Speaking to The Post Millennial on Wednesday, the day after the video went viral the owner of Mixed Greens said that the restaurant was full of locals who had come in after seeing it. He said the community has been very supportive, and the restaurant was busy with socially distanced patrons.
New York City currently has three designations for the severity of COVID-19 outbreaks in certain geographical areas of its city. Yellow Zones are called "precautionary" areas and are considered relatively low-risk areas. An Orange zone receives a "warning" label.
Red zones, which have the most restrictions in place, are considered "cluster" areas where a high concentration of cases may be present. Mixed Greens Café is located in one of the three remaining Red Zones.
According to the New York City Council, Red Zone restrictions under code 202.69 as of October 7 specify that restaurants may only have take-out or delivery services, prohibiting in-door seating and in-house service.
Fines of up to $1,000 may apply to individuals who fail to socially distance or wear masks within the bounds of a red zone with similar penalties applying to businesses that fail to uphold the city's standards.
Within the first week of the Red Zone regulations, the city issued more than 60 court summons, citations against one restaurant, and at least five houses of worship. In total, the New York Times wrote that the fines exceeded a cost of $150,000.
As of yet, the Mayor has not released a specific date for when those restrictions may be lifted. Restaurants and businesses continue to suffer under restrictions that are unclear and poorly enforced.