Oh, rats — there goes the appetite.
As part of Phase 2 of the city’s reopening plan, food-serving establishments in the Big Apple got the green light to welcome customers with sidewalk and patio seating starting on June 22. However, some business owners have complained that all the al fresco dining is drawing rodents.
"Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe and I let you just imagine his reaction,” Giacomo Romano, the owner of Italian restaurant Ciccio in SoHo, told NBC New York in a Friday interview.
Ciccio is close to Father Fagan Park, which Romano alleges has only one trash can. Now, the restauranteur is asking city officials to step up sanitation efforts during the busy summer season.
Another nearby business owner echoed similar sentiments — though he’s not even in the restaurant business.
Pasquale Giacobbe recently reopened his barbershop on the same street and is “already fed up with the rodents,” per NBC.
"I already don’t have the help from the state, no loans from nobody,” Giacobbe explained. “At least they can come do something, for all the tax we pay.”
In the meantime, Manhattanites better not crave a return to indoor dining; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the city will not proceed with indoor dining as part of its Phase 3 reopening as planned, citing surges of positive coronavirus cases in states across the country.
Describing the delay as “tough” but made in the best interests of the city and its people, De Blasio encouraged New Yorkers to continue supporting local restaurants by dining outside.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.