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Hempstead supervisor rolls out plan for outdoor dining at restaurants

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When businesses in across New York are permitted to reopen, there will be restrictions in place to ensure people social distance. To help restaurants abide by such rules in the Town of Hempstead, Supervisor Don Clavin announced legislation authorizing restaurants to apply, free of charge, for temporary outdoor dining permits. 

The supervisor was joined by town councilmen Chris Carini and Dennis Dunne Sr. Tuesday outside of Borrelli’s Italian Restaurant in East Meadow, which has remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, to unveil the plan.

“By loosening restrictions on outdoor dining, we are helping local eateries bring in needed business while allowing them to keep patrons and staff safe through social distancing,” Clavin said.

The supervisor added that the goal of the legislation is to cut any “red tape” business owners may face in reopening. The permits will be valid through Dec. 30 this year, and business owners can apply for them online at hempsteadny.viewpointcloud.com. After business owners apply, inspectors will evaluate the exterior of their restaurant and, if approved, give them a copy of the permit on site.

Throughout its 65-year history, Borrelli’s has been a frequented destination in East Meadow for both local residents and guests coming from an event at Nassau Coliseum. “Anyone who knows Long Island knows this place, and anyone who knows the New York Islanders knows this place,” Clavin said.

Also at the news conference were Bob Russo and Dave Boller, the owners of Garden Social in East Meadow. Both businesses have adapted to Covid-19 restrictions and continued to serve residents through pick-up and curbside, while also donating meals to health care workers.

“Navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic has been an incredible challenge for so many local eateries,”  Carini said. “The streamlining of the permit process for outdoor dining is a step in the right direction towards economic recovery.”

Clavin acknowledged that some restaurants do not have the space for outdoor seating arrangements, but for those that do, he said, “this legislation is key to the reopening process.”

Borrelli said he look forward to having customers dine in again “as soon as it’s possible, social distancing and all.” He also thanked everyone who sent donations to the restaurant to help feed front line workers, noting that Borrelli’s raised a total of $74,000 in the past two months.

“Town of Hempstead restaurants are more than just brick-and-mortar establishments . . . they sponsor community organizations, donate to charitable causes and they have selflessly dedicated their own time and resources to help others during this Covid-19 pandemic,”Clavin said, adding that he is proud to help them with reopening efforts. “We are confident that providing outdoor seating arrangements will be a win-win for both residents and the local economy.”