How NYC Businesses are Coping with the Coronavirus

empty italian restaurant little italy nyc

New York City streets may be empty, a sight all of us have never experienced. However, we now more than ever look to support small businesses, shops, and restaurants that are staying open for takeout and delivery. Plus, how are some business and retail owners looking ahead to the future?

As a consensus: we could all use as much positivity as possible.

Stay at Home Film Premier

For New York actor and visual artist, Felicity Mason, her pop up gallery in the Hamptons (Hampton Bays), as well as her pop up exhibitions in New York City are on hold. “Our last pop up was on W 27th between 6th and 7th. I was working with Sara Nightingale Gallery. We will be working together later this year.”

Felicity Mason; image courtesy of Felicity Mason
Felicity Mason

Though her exhibitions are paused for the time being, Mason is starring in the Lifetime TV premier of Stalker’s Prey 2, a sequel to one of Lifetime‘s highest grossing films. The film premiers Saturday, March 21st at 8pm and then again at midnight. “Our premier was canceled, so everyone will watch it for the first time on TV, including myself,” exclaims Mason.

Rapid Changes in Wellness

While business-as-usual has been challenging for traditional dental offices and health clinics, new tele-health providers are sensing an opportunity. Candid, a NYC telehealth startup, offers affordable clear aligner treatment without in-person visits to the dentist. Instead, Candid ships aligners directly to customers, who can check in with a remote orthodontist via their app once every couple of weeks. In response to the pandemic, Candid did close down several of its retail “studio” locations around the city. However, due to its remote model, it has been able to continue operating largely as normal.

beam street dental nyc
Credit: Beam Street

Heather Kunen, co-founder of Beam Street, the “Drybar” of oral wellness, explains how the day-to-day procedures are rapidly changing. “By Wednesday of last week, we started to see a dip in our patients. Almost every business has closed temporarily. We are in a weird grey area,” explains Kunen. Open today. 

“Though we are open today, it is very possible we will close.” Beam Street is an Invisalign-based practice. “We are now helping patients best prepare with their treatments. We are getting in contact with patients to give them their aligners. It is a really tough time for everyone. We are all trying to remain healthy.”

NYC Restaurants

Up until last week everything was going fine at MarieBelle Chocolates boutique shop on Broome Street.

“Things began changing since the state of emergency. There is no traffic, and the more negative thoughts [there are], the worse it gets,” says Maribel Lieberman. “We still have the store open, but the seating area is closed. “We are going to stay open until we cannot go on any longer or when it is mandatory to close all businesses. For our online business, we have someone coming in everyday to fulfill online orders, especially Easter deliveries!”

“We are hoping for a big business boom coming back from this. We are staying very positive,” adds Lieberman.

At Amali Restaurant in NYC, located on E 60th Street, they are currently open for takeout and delivery. “We have also created a series of packages for groups of 4-6,” adds restauranteur James Mallios. “That way you can have a full dinner and then have leftovers the next day. With 24 hours notice, Amali can also prepare a specialized meal for birthdays, milestones, etc, perfect for everyone staying at home. “We are doing what we can and are also looking to people we know for pickup work.”

Harold’s on Renwick St in SoHo is now offering takeout, delivery and in-room dining orders with no added “service fees” typical of room service. “The only way to help is to keep supporting restaurants with takeout / delivery orders,” says Gary Wallach, the Food & Beverage Director.

“Harold’s is also now on Seamless, Postmates and Uber Eats. We’re working to make sure the neighborhood knows we’re there for them if they need to spice up their in-home meals, and also if they know of any elders / disabled members of the community who are homebound without access to groceries, we will work to provide them with meals,” adds Wallach.

Dante on MacDougal Street is now offering delivery and to-go options from both our food and cocktail menus. “Our staff will personally deliver food & beverage to your door, with pick up also available,” says co-owner Linden Pride.

At T-Bar on the upper east side, they have started pickup only from 12-8pm. They are starting with a full menu, and will transition to a limited menu. Patrons can come to the store or do delivery through Postmates.

For Levain Bakery on the upper west side, they are remaining open but are offering takeout and delivery only for the time being. They are also limiting the number of people in the bakery at a time, according to their Instagram page. Cookies are also still available to be ordered via their website for UPS delivery. 

School Visits Postponed

culture shock stomp out bullying
Courtesy of STOMP Out Bullying

In the midst of the coronavirus shockwave, Ross Ellis exclaims “no one has ever seen anything like this.” As the Founder of STOMP Out Bullying, scheduling has taken a full shift forward. “Culture Shock [event] was started with concept of accepting cultures and communities while getting to these individuals and making friends. It is about recognizing different cultures and for people to put themselves out there to get to know those around them,” explains Ellis. Celebrities like Nick Cannon, Logan Browning, and Sarah McBride have jumped onboard with campaigns as well. 

Their staff is working from home. School visits in May are pending due to the outbreak. In the meantime, follow along with their #SeeMe campaign in partnership with STOMP Out Bullying. 

For information on businesses in the Hamptons, click here.

Please relay to the CDC website for up-to-date information.