BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Brandon Carr has spent the past 24 hours redesigning his restaurant The Quarter in Buffalo to meet the new COVID-19 state guidelines.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared parts of Western New York to be a “yellow zone.” This means new restrictions on restaurants.
The following areas of Erie County marked in yellow will be in a yellow cluster zone. In effect we have a little bit of time to reduce the virus before we shut down businesses, in-person school and gatherings. All yellow cluster rules apply and bars must close at midnight. 1/ pic.twitter.com/i3E0S8PziE— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) November 9, 2020
“Every single time they impose a new regulation or guideline, it's a complete change of your entire model,” Carr said.
Now, only four people can sit at a table, even if everyone lives in the same household.
“A buddy of mine who went out yesterday with his family who has five. They separated them three and two and they kept six feet between them. I just don't understand it,” Daniel Victor of Clarence said.
Restaurants must also close at midnight. Carr said he does 30% of his business after 12 a.m. and he operates at just a 4.5% margin, so he’s going to take a hit.
“All those things contribute to things that can be major losses for us and take a very big hit. That can lead to the closing of this business,” Carr said.
“Why are we closing bars at midnight? How does a time limit affect the virus?” Victor said.
Buffalo Common Council Member Chris Scanlon is proposing the Erie County Department of Health fine patrons not wearing masks and following COVID guidelines instead of t fining restaurants.
“It's near impossible to control every single person every single minute. They stand up real quick. Could that be a fine against us? No. That should be on the individual. It's been long enough that everyone knows the rules,” Carr said.
Carr said this could help business dealing with restrictions. He said the most infuriating part about the new guidelines is he feels restaurants are being punished when leaders are saying majority of cases are coming from house parties.
“They're making it harder on us, and we're doing things right,” Carr said.