NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – As restaurants reopen for indoor dining, what about reopening comedy clubs?
Club owners in New York said they fear the clubs face closures because there are still no regulations from the state on how and when they will reopen.
Sen. Michael Gianaris said the state hasn’t made clear distinction between comedy clubs and restaurants when it comes to reopening.
“Well they can't tell us, because there is no difference. The answer is there is no reason why. It's arbitrary. It’s bureaucracy at its worst. And hopefully we'll push through it quickly,” Gianaris said.
Gianaris met with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff and club owners on the issue weeks ago. He said the meeting was productive but that things went quiet and that the governor has more recently talked about not wanting comedy clubs to reopen.
“They told me they’re still working on it and they’re hoping to figure it out soon. So hopefully with better understanding, communication, we’ll resolve this. But it’s already been too long and hopefully we’ll be able to get it cleared up in the next couple of days,” Gianaris said Tuesday.
The club owners said they’re willing to do whatever it takes to reopen safely and are just waiting on state guidelines.
“They're willing to put up plexiglass that surrounds the performer, so that's necessary,” Gianaris said. “They sell tickets to these performances, so they would have everyone's information, if contact tracing becomes necessary.”
Gianaris said the state should partner up with comedy club owners to help them reopen rather than put more obstacles in their way.
Earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Schumer and comedian Jerry Seinfeld pushed a new federal relief program for New York City entertainment venues, including comedy clubs, that have been struggling since the pandemic began.