The neighborhood is becoming a dining destination, in spite of the pandemic

Clients dining at Bánh, on Amsterdam Avenue, in March 2021. © Marta Biino

John Nguyen, co-owner of Bánh on Amsterdam Avenue, never had a doubt:
Opening a location on the Upper West Side would be a success, “pandemic or no pandemic.” He and his partner had been planning to bring their Vietnamese fare to the area since 2019, and they were sure the neighborhood would support them. “We had to delay our construction, but we never had a second thought,” he says. “We knew there was a demand for Vietnamese food here.” …

The coronavirus crisis has taken its toll on many small businesses — eBike sellers, meanwhile, are thriving

Rick Bernstein, whose eBike business has soared during the pandemic, in front of his store in December 2020. © Rick Bernstein

Almost a year into the COVID-19 global pandemic, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing about business owners struggling. Some of them are battling to simply stay afloat, others are shutting down completely. For some, however, it’s been quite the opposite: That’s the story of Rick Bernstein, one of hundreds of eBike sellers around New York. “In the summer, I had a three-month waiting list for my eBikes,” he said.

Bernstein is the owner of NYC Adventure eBike Tours on Amsterdam Avenue, in the heart…

Many restaurant owners fear the approval of Intro 1116, to expand street cart permits, will oversaturate an already struggling market. Meanwhile, advocates and council members provide reassurance.

An empty restaurant in New York. © Gary He / Eater NY

For Lee Seinfeld, owner two bars on Amsterdam Avenue, the time when he could afford fifty employees is a distant memory. Today, he has to make do with three, if his bar is open at all. “And I haven’t drawn a salary in a year,” he says.

With the anniversary of the first pandemic-related closures around the corner, Seinfeld has lost all hope in the future of New York’s restaurant industry, and he…

Marta Biino

Italian, with a background in Russian studies and media relations. Food and fiction lover. Sarchastic.

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