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Why are bars and restaurants not open as late as before the pandemic?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Bars and restaurants are closing earlier than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic; and some are asking ‘why’. It’s a national trend that’s being seen play out across the Finger Lakes and Central New York with bars and restaurants in Canandaigua, Geneva, and Auburn operating on shorter schedules than before.

With limited options for late-night dining or drinking, Downtown Auburn Business Improvement District Executive Director Stephanie DeVito tell The Citizen it comes down to staffing difficulties and evolving customer behaviors.


Restaurants are struggling to retain sufficient staff for late-night operations, and after years of pandemic-related restrictions, customers aren’t staying out as late.

Restaurants and bars across the region have shortened their operating hours since reopening after COVID.

Some restaurants have seen a slight increase in late-night traffic in recent months, which points to a trend of returning to pre-pandemic norms.