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New Restaurants: “Ampia Rooftop NYC” – “Sanitary, Social Distance Dining”

Ampia Rooftop (Ampia meaning “Space” in Italian) is a sprawling 4,500 Sq. foot outdoor rooftop terrace featuring individual greenhouses for a social distance dining experience, opulent clusters of colorful flower gardens, and Italian-themed art and décor dispersed throughout. Chef Michele Iuliano offers up an authentic Italian menu of lite casual fare, along with a selection of inventive seafood paninis. 

Ampia Restaurant

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Restaurant Business (August 1, 2020) – The first step was a name change. When New York City announced that restaurants could open for outdoor dining during Phase 2, the Iulianos changed the name from Gnoccheria Rooftop to Ampia—a move that gave it a distinct identity. Then they set about redesigning the space to satisfy all the restrictions.

The entire space was sprayed with an electrostatic sanitary coating, including the tables, chairs, bar and every touchable surface. The process sanitizes for up to three months. The pair also purchased a facial recognition thermometer and all the essential PPE specified in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Phase 2 guidelines.

Next, the space was reconcepted from the original 250-seat restaurant to an outdoor dining venue with a limited bar and food menu. The beer garden in the original plan had to be scrapped; it’s impossible to enforce social distancing in that kind of setting. Instead, tables were spread out and seating areas set far apart, accommodating 60 to 65 guests.

The regulations around social distancing state that if tables cannot be arranged six feet apart, a restaurant can use plexiglass dividers between them. But the Iulianos wanted to infuse Ampia with the same stylish elements that differentiate their other restaurants.

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