The restaurants that sued New York State over Governor Andrew Cuomo's restrictions under an Orange Zone classification have been given the green light to reopen. Yesterday, January 13, 2021, New York Supreme Court Judge Henry Nowak announced that the restaurants can temporarily reopen indoor dining, according to WKBW. The decision is temporary and the restaurants must follow yellow zone restrictions. Only four people will be allowed per table, both indoors and outdoors, under Yellow Zone rules. Bars and restaurants also must close indoor and outdoor dining by 10 pm, according to the rules provided by NY Forward. A decision on whether the restaurants can keep indoor dining open permanently is expected next week. Make sure you download the free WBLK app for Android or iPhone and turn on your notifications to get an update on the decision.

There are more restaurants that are involved in the suit, although only the original 37 are listed on the document released yesterday with the Court's decision. The judge did specify that all of the restaurants involved in the decision would be able to reopen,

The court concludes that all parties named in the amended petition filed on January 8,2021 (NYSCEF Doc. No. 109) are hereby permitted to operate under the prior Yellow Zone restrictions and pursuant to the DOH’s Interim COVID-19 Guidance (NYSCEF Doc. No. 2).

Judge Nowak's decision to allow the restaurants to temporarily reopen is based on his legal opinion that the State had no rights to designate Erie County as an Orange Zone and that the decision caused hardship to the restaurants,

Considering the record presented, this court cannot find evidence that the State had a rational basis to designate portions of Erie County as an Orange Zone on November 18, 2020.On this issue, the court find a likelihood of success on the merits. The court also finds irreparable injury to petitioners in the absence of injunctive relief, and a balance of equities in their favor. Petitioners have also demonstrated that the Orange Zone designation has caused loss of revenue, unemployment, potential foreclosure and hardship upon Erie County residents.

Restaurants who were not a part of the lawsuit will still have to follow orange zone restrictions, according to what Corey Hogan of HoganWillig Attorneys at Law told WBKB,

“The court’s decision only applies to our clients. I don’t know what the governor’s intentions will be now that perhaps 80 restaurants will be opened up in Erie County and many more will not be allowed to operate.”


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Here are the 33 restaurants that were listed as petitioners in the original suit, which are now allowed to temporarily reopen. A few of the restaurants were listed as suit plaintiffs a couple of times due to them having different owners listed for their various locations.

99 Brick Oven Bar And Grille, LLC
Amherst Pizza & Ale House, Inc.
Badabing Bar And Grill
Bottoms Up
Buffalo Brew Pub
Campfire Grill
Campfire Grill II, Inc
Deep South Taco
Duff’s Famous Wings
Dvs Properties, LLC
Fieldstone Country Inn
Ice House Pub
Londa’s Diner
Mambrino King Wine-Coffee Bar, LLC
Mooney’s Sports Bar & Grill
Overpass Pub
Pharohs GC, Inc.
Prescott’s Provisions
Robbie’s Bar And Grill
Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.
Santora’s Pizza Pub And Grill, Inc.
Sculpture Hospitality Of Wny
Tavern At Windsor Park
TBF Enterprises, Inc.
Teton Kitchen And Teton Kitchen Elmwood
The Bayou
The Byrd House Restaurant
The Fire House Sports Bar & Grill
The Howling Rooster, LLC
The Yelling Goat Restaurant

WKBW also lists the following restaurants as included in the suit:

Brunner’s Tavern
Manor Lanes
The Pour House Bar And Grill

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