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Clavin, Council Members Join with Restaurant Owners to Announce Major Extension of Outdoor Dining Initiative

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin joined with Frank Borrelli, owner of Borrelli’s Restaurant Café and Pizzeria in East Meadow and fellow Council Members to announce a one-year extension of the Town of Hempstead’s popular outdoor dining initiative. It was only 15 months ago, in May of 2020, when Clavin stood with weary local restaurant owners in front of the famed Italian restaurant to announce the region’s first outdoor dining initiative to assist these struggling businesses through the ever-changing COVID-19 related shutdowns and lockdowns.

Supporting the program along with Supervisor Clavin were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver Jeanine Driscoll. They were also joined by Francine Doukas of Revel Restaurant & Bar in Garden City, who expressed her support for the Town of Hempstead’s outdoor dining program.

At the time, Long Island suffered enormously from both a public health and economic standpoint due to a COVID-19 surge in spring of 2020, and restaurant owners were still limited to delivery and takeout orders and eagerly hoping for the state to allow for outdoor dining. The Town of Hempstead’s outdoor dining initiative, authorized by Clavin and his colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board in the spring of 2020, was a model for other local governments at the time. The program encouraged restaurant owners to create or expand outdoor dining by waiving permit fees and streamlining the application process.

Clavin explained that a major commitment to the town’s outdoor dining initiative  is a necessity during a time when the pandemic is raging on due to the rise of the Delta variant across the nation.

“We want local restaurant owners to know that their town government stands with them in supporting their success while navigating the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Clavin said. “More than 15 months ago, many restaurants were at the brink of survival due to the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. We introduced this program as a way for restaurants to help them navigate the difficult period, and we are extending it by one more year to provide this important program for restaurants during this ongoing and uncertain pandemic.”

Nearly fifteen months later, restaurants are once again operating with both indoor and outdoor dining options. But unfortunately, even after infection rates began to wane and with vaccinations widely available, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has taken hold on the nation and has contributed to a concerning rise in infections on Long Island. The outdoor dining initiative extension supports restaurant owners with existing outdoor dining and encourages others to take advantage of the helpful program.

Throughout the pandemic, Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board have provided direct relief to community needs as residents and business owners have contended with the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since spring of 2020. Utilizing  federal COVID-19 CARES act funding for various communities initiatives, Clavin and the Town Board allocated the monies to provide millions of meals to residents in need, providing thousands of free COVID-19 tests to residents during the height of the pandemic, establishing the state’s first mobile vaccination unit to provide thousands of free vaccines to local residents, issuing thousands of PPE kits to local businesses to assist in safe and successful reopenings, as well as financial assistance for frontline entities such as fire departments, villages and schools and an array of other important relief efforts.

The town’s “Vaxmobile,” in collaboration with Mount Sinai South Nassau, has helped provide over 5,000 vaccines to residents, and continues to visit communities daily across America’s largest township, including a visit today to Hempstead Town Hall.

“At the Town of Hempstead, we have been there for residents and business owners to get through this pandemic together,” Clavin said. “We recognize that the pandemic is not over, and we encourage restaurant owners to utilize the outdoor dining initiative.”

For more information on the Outdoor Dining Initiative for restaurants, call 516-538-8500, visit the Building Department at Hempstead Town Hall or at its Town Hall outdoor annex from 9:15 to 3:45 p.m. (Monday through Friday at Hempstead Town Hall), or log on to for the Building Department’s online application portal.

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