STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Avid pool players and amateur dart enthusiasts alike can resume playing bar games in New York come Friday.
That’s because Gov. Andrew Cuomo loosened coronavirus (COVID-10) mandates that have kept pool halls closed and banned all bar games across New York state.
New guidance comes into play this Friday that allows bars with liquor licenses across the state to resume games. The state Health Department announced that the new guidance applies to “pool and billiard halls, and establishments that provide both recreational activities (e.g., darts, toss/bowl/shuffle games, racket games, axe throwing, etc.) and food and beverage service for patrons.”
And owners of bars and pool halls, closed for nearly a year due to the pandemic, couldn’t be happier about this news.
“My whole business revolves around indoor recreation. Being allowed to open back up is a world of difference for me,” said Joe D’Angelo, owner of the Arden Heights-based Unique Lounge, which includes five pool tables, eight dart boards and indoor bocce.
D’Angelo said it was tough to stay afloat over the last year, but he’s happy he weathered the storm.
“I call this an adult playground. …I have my leagues coming back. I plan to have pool, darts and bocce leagues back five nights per week. People should call here if they want to join a league,” he said.
NEW BAR GAME RULES
- Facility capacity in all New York City venues is restricted to no more than 35% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy.
- There must be at least six feet maintained between tables, lanes, etc. (or physical barriers between them must be erected).
- All game players must wear a mask except while “actively consuming food or beverages.”
- Parties of players must maintain separation from parties at other tables or lanes.
- Patrons/players can only interact with their party at their assigned lane, table, or board/game. The guidance prohibits “co-mingling of parties.”
- Venus owners must “rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment (e.g., bowling balls, bowling shoes, pool/billiard cues, pool/billiard racks, or throwing, tossing, or other game objects) between each patron’s use.
- Other standard restrictions for bars and restaurants apply, such as only having occupancy reach 35%, and all venues must close by 11 p.m.