City Winery NYC is asking you for $50 for a rapid COVID test upon entering

A NYC restaurant, City Winery, is testing out a test pilot program of sorts where on Tuesday and Wednesday they require you to pay $50 for a rapid COVID test that proves negative for you to enter into their dining experience. The rest of the week Thursday-Monday regular diners are welcome but just on Tuesday and Wednesdays they are testing out this new policy. Michael Dorf, the President and Founder of City Winery said this about testing out the new policy/program: “Given the change of the seasons, finding the next level of safety and comfort level for people to dine indoors is critical for us today. A COVID-19 test is one of the only solutions to get patrons inside restaurants for the next five months until the springtime.”

If a rapid test result comes back positive, of course that patron is not allowed in and their test is sent to a lab to confirm the initial results.

What do you make of this? Is this a positive thing City Winery is doing? Are they setting the bar for other restaurants moving forward? I for one will NOT pay $50 to take a rapid COVID test upon eating out at a restaurant. I think that's ridiculous from a patron stand point. Of course the restaurant thinks this is brilliant and a safe idea for their restaurant's environment and while it certainly would prevent and guarantee COVID would not enter the restaurant on certain days, I don't think it would draw patrons in, quite the opposite. First off, I would not go on Tuesday or Wednesday when I would have to fork over an extra $50 and secondly I'm especially not going to go to this restaurant if I am exhibiting zero symptoms and not in need of wasting a COVID test on myself. What happened to only getting tested if you 1) have multiple COVID symptoms or 2) you've been exposed to someone who has tested positive? This is just another high expense for people during a time when finances are tight and I think it's going to turn people away, especially if they implement this all 7 days a week that they are open. Also, it's not like without these rapid COVID tests COVID is going to most definitely creep into the building and cause a super spreader hot spot. You still have strict safety measures in place where social distancing, outdoor dining, and mask wearing is mandatory so I think you can go out safety during a time in this crazy pandemic where people are itching to go out and feel normal without having to get tested every time you want to enjoy a nice meal. That's my thoughts, what are yours?

-Producer Lightning