Coronavirus restrictions force NY restaurant owner to leave for Florida: 'Decisions aren't rational'

NY restaurant owner moves business, staff to Florida amid COVID-19 restrictions

Buddy Foy, Jr., owner of The Chateau Anna Maria, says being forced to close at 10 p.m. was the breaking point for his business.

A new 10 p.m. curfew under short notice was the "breaking point" for a New York restaurant owner who decided to leave the state for Florida, evading the burdensome coronavirus restrictions.

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"When you get a 24-hour notice of changing an hour of operation, you’re losing food in your walking cooler. There is only so much you can do when you finally have to make a decision to pivot, and just don’t complain, move forward. Fortunately, we had the resources and a local community in Florida that my brother happens to live close by and we reached out and made it happen," Buddy Foy, owner of The Chateau on the Lake in Bolton Landing, N.Y., told "Fox & Friends."

Foy explained that the city’s 10 p.m. curfew mandate disrupted the operation, since they are a two-hour dining experience, customers had to be "stacked by 8 p.m."

"We weren’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to waste any more food in my freezer and refrigerators," Foy said.

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Big city restaurant owners in New York and California are frustrated after lawmakers banned indoor dining and flip-flopped on bathroom restrictions, driving away even more of their customers amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

In New York, local lawmakers implemented a new rule Thursday barring outdoor diners from using indoor restrooms at restaurants, only to backtrack shortly after an outcry from business owners and patrons alike.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that a fact sheet sent out by the city the previous evening, which barred customers from entering the interior of restaurants for any reason, was "a mistake." The rules are set by the state, not the de Blasio administration, said Bill Neidhardt, the mayor's press secretary.

City officials consulted with Albany, where officials agreed to change the rule and allow outdoor diners to use indoor restrooms, de Blasio Press Secretary Avery Cohen wrote in a post on Twitter.

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Foy said 15 of the restaurant's employees are moving to Florida, which is "half of Foy’s kitchen crew."

Foy said that "not everyone could come," so the other half stayed in New York to work on "meal prep kits," a service conducted online. Foy's said his employees "wanted to work," as opposed to living off of a stimulus check.

Foy believes that public health officials do not know what to do about the coronavirus.

"I’m not saying they are making decisions to hurt us. … They really don’t know what to do about COVID. When you don’t know what to do in the situation, you are making decisions that aren’t rational," Foy said, adding that his business cannot be sustained under the curfew.

"We have got to clean our surfaces and our kitchen and the floors. That takes an hour and a half. So technically you are done cooking for your customers at 8:30, 9. So that just doesn’t cut it. You can’t even pay the electric bill on those hours."

Fox News' Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

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