ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – After more than two months of orange-zone restrictions in Chemung County, yet another local restaurant is now defying the restrictions and will be opening for indoor dining next week.
Anne’s Pancakes is opening on Thursday, Jan. 14th despite the orange zone, according to one of Owners of the restaurant, Jared Fish.
“We’re going to follow the yellow zone restrictions,” said Fish. “The orange zone restrictions for us don’t make sense and they’re frustrating.”
Some of his frustration lies in the lack of communication from the governor’s office.
18 News has contacted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office every day this week and hasn’t heard back.
“I’m hoping that they’re seeing that we’re tried of waiting, that we need to get an answer to why we’re still in the orange zone,” said Fish. “And personally just so we can make ends meet.”
Other local business owners, like Michael Woodard, owner of BC’s Texas Hots, said the orange zone restrictions at this point are “unfair”.
“I need my dinning room back, I need my customers to come in, and enjoy sitting down and having a meal,” said Woodard. “When you can do it a half mile up the road and can’t do it here, it’s just totally unfair.”
“Like I said, it’s frustrating to know that you can drive five miles down the road, 10 miles on the road, and be able to dine in, it’s killing the local businesses that are in your zone,” said Fish.
Fish said they’ve had to let go five employees because of the strict orange zone restrictions. When they re-open for indoor dining, he says he’s bringing back the full staff.
“Very stressful for us and for our employees, laying them off and them not being able to work full time,” said Fish.
Fish owns Anne’s Pancakes with his wife. When they open for indoor dining, they’ve added new features like a QR code menu. Plus, all salt shakers, syrup and anything on tables will either be sanitized or thrown away between customers.
He says if his restaurant gets a warning or fine, he’ll take it from there.
“But you know it’s come to the point where it’s time,” said Fish. “It’s just time to open up and fight for our business.”