(Photo from TheJefffeyNYC.com)
NEW YORK (77 WABC) — Businesses deal with the uncertain future in a post-coronavirus world. But for now, many restaurants and bars are in take-out and delivery mode for customers.
One such place is The Jeffrey on the Upper East Side.
I spoke to owner Andy Freedman and operating partner Colm Kirwan recently about their current and future plans (watch the video above). They social distanced, speaking in separate parts of the establishment.
Freedman said he “made it our mission” to keep the popular pub open. Without the state permitting alcoholic beverages for delivery, “it would have just been a non-starter for us,” Freedman said.
They worked on 10 new cocktails that would travel well, to complement the 29 beers on tap.
The Jeffrey is blocks away from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and other hospitals, so they have been offering specials for health care workers, including 15% off and free wine, beer or cocktail with meal.
“It’s really about survival for us at this point,” Freedman said. “To bring happiness and deliver happiness to our folks on the Upper East Side.”
Because of such light traffic, they actually have expanded to other neighborhoods.
Going forward, Kirwan said they are working on plans for welcoming people back for dining in, but face a challenge as The Jeffrey is an “intimate space.”
“We have two points of entry, so we have considered using one as an entry and the other as an exit,” Kirwan said.
In the days before the full stay-at-home order, The Jeffrey already started removing half of the seats to positive reaction.
“I’d imagine that’s going to be how we reopen first,” Kirwan said.
“Regardless of the rules coming down from above, the guidelines, the restrictions, there’s a social element to it all as well. It’s how people are going to be willing to behave,” Freedman said. “…We’re going to facilitate an environment where they do feel comfortable.”