The debate over reopening continues around the country, state, and in Rochester.
One local business seems to be becoming the poster child for the local reopen effort.
Pizza Stop is a Rochester downtown staple, with locations also in Pittsford and Greece. The business is back open now for take-out and curbside service. Owner Jim Staffieri wants to offer full dine-in service. He had even announced he’d open to table service at the end of the month.
“We were going to have every other table open. If I do that, table to table is 12 feet apart," said Staffieri.
Despite taking precautions to keep customers and staff safe, that plan is now on the back burner.
“Well, I posted it on Twitter and Facebook... So someone contacted [Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael] Mendoza. Mendoza called somebody and somebody calls somebody and someone from the town came down, said, do it and will shut you down," said Staffieri.
“The Pizza Stop example was a good one. He can he can deliver, he still can deliver and pick up so he's not shut down," said Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert Duffy. The governor appointed Duffy as special adviser to Governor Cuomo for Rochester and Finger Lakes regional COVID-19 reopening.
"We know everything we do is based on health and safety and that's why the medical directors, health directors around the region, play a major role," said Duffy.
Aside from Staffieri ‘s social media posts, this is the first time he is speaking out, saying, “I'm not here for publicity or doing this to get my name out there. I tried to do what I was going to do out of frustration. And I know thousands of other restaurants are in the same boat. Everyone's hurting, it's not just me."
“That frustration is there, we get it, we understand it. There are a lot of businesses that are open and really abiding by curbside service, things like that. That is not perfect, but they're making a go of it," said Duffy.
Duffy says he is gathering information to pass along for the governor’s consideration as he makes decisions on reopening.