NYC bars, restaurants beef up security as crime, homelessness soars

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The nights are dark and full of terrors for already COVID-battered restaurant owners struggling to stay afloat or open new locations.

That’s because runaway crime and rampant homelessness are forcing them to close early or spend extra money on security to keep their patrons safe, according to interviews with several Big Apple restaurateurs.  

Richie Romero, a veteran restaurateur and nightclub impresario, told Side Dish he was forced to hire a security guard until 4 a.m. on the weekends at his Lower East Side spot Zazzy’s Pizza. 

“I’m mobbed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but I have to close early, at 11 pm, during the week because people are too afraid to go out at night,” said Romero, who also owns Zazzy’s locations in the West Village and the Upper East Side, along with the plant-based eatery Innocent Yesterday in the…

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