UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — When Mayor Bill de Blasio shut down all New York City restaurants in March except for takeout and delivery due to the coronavirus crisis, Luca Di Pietro had to make an excruciating decision.
With income all but gone, he had to lay off 95 of his 102 employees across his five Italian restaurants.
The loss of staff meant he had to close four locations and say goodbye for now to dozens of loyal employees.
Tarallucci e Vino, located on 83rd Street and Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side, was his lone outpost to remain open — and uncertainty clouded the future of the business that he had spent nearly a decade creating.
“It was really, really difficult. We all went into survival mode,” Di Pietro told Patch.
But little did he know the turmoil of owning restaurants in the epicenter of a global pandemic