Updated: December 30, 2020 10:39 AM
Created: December 29, 2020 10:38 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — More than 50 restaurants have joined a lawsuit suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and other officials over COVID-19 restrictions. Owners of restaurants in Orange Zones say they want to reopen for indoor dining immediately because they're not the cause of the rise in COVID infection rates.
Although the majority of the restaurants are located in the Buffalo area, Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta restaurant here in Rochester joined the lawsuit as well.
Another night, another empty dining room for Veneto restaurant on East Avenue. The restaurant is located in the Orange Zone, and for now, can only offer take-out service. Operating Manager Don Swartz says if other businesses like supermarkets and malls can open in the same zone, why can't they?
"We want to be able to get our jobs back. My employees, myself we want to be able to constitutionally run a business," Swartz said.
Buffalo-area law firm HoganWillig is representing the restaurants, as well as 40 hair salons. Attorney Corey Hogan says these businesses are not suing the state for any financial gain.
"All we're asking is to be put back in business, and to be put back in business with restrictions that used to exist, they were back in June. They said here's what you guys need to do in terms of plexiglass. In terms of masks. In terms of sanitation systems," Hogan said.
He goes on to say a pretrial conference is scheduled for Monday.
"We're trying to see if we can figure out a way to resolve this, that's fair to everybody. we're not interested in spreading the virus," Hogan said.
"We're coming into the New Year. Let's move forward. Help us get our employees back," Swartz added.
These business owners are hoping to reopen as soon as the second week of January.
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