Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams kicks off the 30th anniversary of NYC Restaurant Week

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July 18, 2022

Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xN6tscVcps

Mayor Eric Adams: Thanks. Thanks Fred. I like you. Favorite place here, many years here. It’s not only a historic place and great food, but it has a rich history. It was part of reviving Brooklyn during a tough time. When you wanted to eat well, you came here. Many men and women who used the city center for shopping came here. And just looking at the beautiful ambience, it tells you why people enjoyed this place so much. And it’s one of the original voices 30 years ago of restaurant week, and such a happy celebration to see it open again and great for… Gage & Tollner was one of the original restaurants in one original participants when it was launched 30 years ago. It was supposed to be a one-time deal just to encourage people to come back and get people back in their seats.
Mayor Adams: But you see, 30 years later, the excitement is still there. This year, approximately 630 restaurants in the five boroughs are participating, covering 85 neighborhoods with more than 60 different cuisines. And our restaurants and bars, I repeat, they are the heart and soul of the city. Many people focus on 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. but this city comes alive from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., and it’s more than a place for entertainment and sightseeing. It’s a place that employs countless people, dishwashers, waiters, waitresses, bartenders, hosts. It is an important part of our financial ecosystem. Without it we’d probably just be London, but that’s not the case. We’re in New York, and that’s why people come here. They come here because of the excitement and diversity of our food. And NYC & Company, when they go overseas to sell New York, they sell our nightlife industry, Broadway, restaurants, theaters, Mickey Mouse on 42nd Street.
Mayor Adams: It’s all part of our city’s uniqueness, and New Yorkers know they don’t need to go anywhere else to enjoy this food diversity. So it doesn’t matter if it’s Sylvia who’s in Harlem. Whether it’s one of our restaurants in downtown Brooklyn, or this great restaurant here, you may find the food, entertainment, and ambiance you’re looking for, but we don’t want visitors come here and visit the restaurant. We want them to enjoy the food and the experience you have here with some of our amazing chefs and cooks. That’s why NYC & Company, they’re launching Savor New York City, a year-long dining experience across all five boroughs. And I’m telling you, I went to a restaurant the other day that had an amazing – they call it the Eric Vegan Corner. They have great vegan options that are truly amazing in the Bronx where you can get healthy food ranging from real famous restaurants to immersive kitchens, tourist centered, find a delicious experience in any part of this city will be effortless on what NYC & Company has set up.
Mayor Adams: The hotel industry is our lifeblood. It is the cornerstone of entertainment, food and interaction. You go to your favorite restaurant for so many different reasons, the celebration of a new job, graduation, marriage, divorce. People celebrate so many different things, but it’s inside the restaurant and you’re going to do like me, talk to some of the bartenders, and they’ll tell you story after story about how they’re not just bartenders, but also psychologists because they help people during a difficult time in their lives. Before the pandemic, the industry had an annual economic impact of $72 billion. Reviving it is the key to our economy. It is an important part of our economy that we continue to revive. So more people are coming to New York as we come out of COVID, this week of June 25, showing that hotel demand is a milestone at 94% recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
Mayor Adams: It’s amazing as we continue to move forward. On Broadway, early-month attendance and gross sales reached the highest levels since Broadway restarted in September 2021. And so Restaurant Week and Savor New York City are so important to our recovery. They really are a part of it, and we want to make sure that everyone is a part of our recovery and every employee that’s there, our hourly employees and the owners of those establishments.
Mayor Adams: They went through tough times. We got creative with outdoor dining. We have been creative in removing taxes on alcohol for a while. We want to continue to be creative in helping the industry recover. New York City is therefore open for reservations. Make those reservations. Let’s take advantage of what Restaurant Week has to offer. And I want to thank this beautiful establishment for allowing us to come here. It’s a symbol of what we can do as we continue to recover and thank NYC & Company for the great job they’ve done to sell New York. It’s a lot to be here in the city, and we only ask tourists one thing, and that is to spend money, spend money, spend money. Thanks a lot.
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