NEW YORK - The future of Maya Mezcal in the East Village is uncertain. The restaurant and bar recently reopened serving drinks only, after closing for most of the past two months due to coronavirus.

What You Need To Know

  • A total of 483 restaurants and bar owners were surveyed for the report

  • Two thirds say they'll need to be at a 70 percent occupancy rate in order to reopen and survive

  • Many owners worry they can't meet terms for PPP loan forgiveness

The manager says it’s a trial run to see if operating this way makes sense financially. 

“We’re trying to adapt and change and that’s the reason why we’re suggesting to do this," said Radouane Eljaouhari, Manager at Maya Mezcal.

But adapting won’t be easy for many. A new study by the NYC Hospitality Alliance found two thirds of city restaurant owners and operators say they'll need to be functioning at a 70 percent occupancy rate in order to reopen and survive.

The alliance surveyed 483 restaurants and bar owners for the report.

"But all your expenses are 100 percent of what they were before COVID - trying to reopen, paying your rent, paying your labor, paying your utilities, and expenses it’s not gonna make sense financially and they’re not gonna last very long," said New York State Restaurant Association President and CEO Melissa Fleischut.

The study also found 87 percent of respondents could not pay their full May rent. Industry leaders say more needs to be done to help restaurants and bars as many owners don’t believe they can meet the terms required for PPP loan forgiveness.

"We are the streetscape. We’re where you go for a date or happy hour after work, go for a business meeting," said NYC Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie.

Back at Maya Mezcal, they’re keeping a positive attitude towards the future.

"I have a good feeling that we’re going to find somewhere in the middle, where we're gonna have people come inside and enjoy the atmosphere because the atmosphere is what New Yorkers are looking for," Eljaouhari said.

The alliance does support a proposal to expand restaurant and bar service onto public spaces like streets and sidewalks. Leaders say while it’s not a full fix to the issues owners face it will allow for social distancing.