NYC Diner owner Irene Siderakis, a single mother of four, blasted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus Restrictions on Tuesday and urged everyone restaurants in the city to “unite” and remain open despite orders to close.
Kellogg’s Diner in Brooklyn has been a popular neighborhood destination for nearly half a century, but Siderakis, who has owned the legendary Williamsburg eatery since 2013, told FOX Business on Tuesday that she will be forced to file for bankruptcy if it becomes one further closure comes the city.
Speak with “fox & friendsOn Tuesday, she emphasized that she believes Governor Cuomo “destroyed our city.”
Restaurants across the country have been devastated by the pandemic, but New York establishments are suffering more compared to the industry nationwide, according to a new survey conducted by the New York State Restaurant Association in partnership with the National Restaurant Association. Esser New York reported.
More than half of New York’s restaurant owners have said they are likely to close in the next six months if another federal aid package isn’t passed, compared with 37% nationwide, the outlet reported, citing the survey of the 6,000 restaurant operators surveyed. 238 of them in New York in the last two weeks of November.
On Monday, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio warned that the city would soon have a “complete shutdown‘ and that the city needed to ‘prepare’ for such an event – as COVID-19 metrics remain high in the Big Apple.
In a press conference with reporters, he referenced statements by Gov. Cuomo warning that a new shutdown could be imminent.
“The governor said in an interview with the New York Times over the weekend that we should prepare for the possibility of a full shutdown,” de Blasio said. “I agree, we have to recognize that this could be coming and we have to prepare for it now because we can’t keep this virus growing, especially at a moment when we’re finally getting the vaccine and turning the corner be able. ”
De Blasio was speaking as a new shutdown of indoor dining in the city announced last week by Cuomo and backed by the mayor went into effect. Restaurants were allowed to resume 25% indoor dining on September 30 after months of being closed, but that ended on Monday with no indication they would be reopening soon.
Siderakis questioned the timing of the next possible closure on Monday, saying she was “outraged” when she heard about it.
“How could anyone do that two weeks before Christmas? And so many people are losing their jobs just before Christmas,” Siderakis said.
“Our governor’s priorities are all screwed up. He totally destroyed us and that’s his agenda. That’s what it looks like.”
She added that she believes Cuomo “doesn’t know how to lead.”
“I’m compliant,” Siderakis said. “I did everything he asked us to do.”
She noted that everyone who works at her diner wears a mask and maintains social distancing.
“We have never had a COVID case,” Siderakis said. “I was just tested on Friday and I am not sick. I do this because I am a responsible employer. I do it because I want everyone to be safe.”
“My facility poses no danger to anyone,” she added. “I’ve never received a single violation so I’m not being told to close. I will remain open.”
Siderakis continued, “If things don’t change by Thursday, when he [Cuomo] doesn’t come out and tell us we may, I’ll keep an open mind,” adding that she believes “everyone should keep an open mind.”
“We should stand up and unite and say ‘no,'” Siderakis continued. “Enough is enough.”
Siderakis was accompanied by her lawyer James Mermigis, who represents dozens of restaurant and bar owners in New York and New Jersey suing over states’ indoor restrictions.
Mermigis said he fears the state will “try to take your liquor license or any other license away from you” with those who defy states’ restrictions.
“The numbers are just not there,” Mermigis said, citing new data released by New York State on Friday that showed restaurants and bars allegedly accounted for less than 1.5% of coronavirus cases over the past three months.
On Tuesday, Siderakis also blasted Cuomo’s “Virtual Birthday and Holiday Reception,” which is about to happen allegedly Virtual participation will cost backers up to $10,000 and will feature performances by Robert De Niro, Rosie Perez, Whoopi Goldberg, Henry Winkler and Ben Stiller, according to a statement from The New York Post.
“A birthday party is your priority right now?” Siderakis asked on Tuesday. “Why doesn’t he ask me how to throw four birthday parties for my kids? What kind of Christmas am I going to give them?”
She added: “His state and his city are a complete mess. It’s crumbling before his eyes and he has a fundraiser for his agenda, for himself?”
“He’s a selfish, ruthless criminal. He is,” Siderakis said. “All the restaurants and small shops have been destroyed because of his dangerous closures because of him and he has destroyed our city.”
“How about they take that money, that fundraising money, his elite friends and give it to the small businesses,” she continued.
“He hasn’t lost a paycheck, they haven’t lost a paycheck since this pandemic and my pockets are dry,” she continued. “I can’t pay anything. He kills me.”
“Do people understand that this man is killing us?” she asked further. “He’s killing us. We have to stand up and say, ‘No, not anymore.’ Enough is enough.”
A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.