100 Erie County Restaurants Suing State Over Closing Time
More Western New York restaurants and bars are suing New York State over the mandated closing time. The restaurants want to stay open past the current time of 10 pm, according to WKBW. The law firms HoganWillig Attorneys at Law and Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP filed the petition on Friday, January 22, 2021, on behalf of the restaurants. The 10 pm closing time is a restriction condition of the State's Yellow Zone classification, according to NY Forward,
Indoor and outdoor dining permitted, 4 person maximum per table, and bars and restaurants close at 10:00 PM for on-premises consumption.
According to the NY Forward website, Erie County is still officially designated as an Orange Zone.
WNY Restaurants Win Lawsuit to Reopen Indoor Dining
The restaurants that previously sued the State to have the restrictions under an Orange Zone classification lifted were given the green light to reopen. On January 13, 2021, New York Supreme Court Judge Henry Nowak announced that the restaurants could temporarily reopen indoor dining, according to WKBW.
After Judge Nowak issued the decision, the Erie County Health Department allowed all restaurants to reopen indoor dining, not just those who sued. The restaurants must follow Yellow Zone restrictions. Only four people are allowed per table, both indoors and outdoors, under Yellow Zone rules.
3 WNY Restaurants to Get Liquor Licenses Back Per Judge's Order
The State has been on the losing side in a couple of recent decisions about COVID-19 restrictions lately. Three Western New York bars will temporarily get their liquor licenses back after an order by a judge. According to WKBW, a New York State Supreme Court judge has ordered the State's Liquor Authority to return the licenses to Santora's Pizza Pub & Grill, Papi Grande's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, and Prescott Provisions. The three restaurants were part of the larger group that previously sued Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State to be able to reopen.