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Roosevelt Island Reopening Is Near…


Hints of a Roosevelt Island reopening sifted to the rose in recent days. The latest? Liukoushui’s back to serving takeout from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 at night, meaning all eating places will return by June 1st

By David Stone

Looking for positive signs of a return to normal? In the two weeks since this article first posted, every restaurant on Roosevelt Island either reopened or announced plans.

Our parks have always been there, and now, food services file back.

Pathways/Four Freedoms Park
FDR Four Freedoms Park offers refuge and peace throughout this crisis.

The future for Roosevelt Island may have tipped its hand. Two weeks ago, Piccolo Trattoria reopened with limited daily hours: 11:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m. Then, a relief to coffee lovers, Starbucks reopened with a giant “Roosevelt Strong” sign in the window.

Update: Subway Reopens while China 1 and Fuji East Announce June 1st Plans, and Liukoushui Hot Pot returned, this week.

Roosevelt Island's Subway shop on Main Street reopened
Last week, Subway reopened, but for takeout only.
China 1 reopens June  1st.
China 1 prepares for reopening on June 1st, and they will be joined by Fuji East on the same day.
Fuji East in Riverwalk Commons on Roosevelt Island reopens for takeout on June 1st.

True, all are still take out only, but progress is progress.

Nothing is quite so significant as the return of the Farmers Market, announced yesterday by RIOC, for Saturday.

Roosevelt Island Foodtown, Social Distancing
Monday, May 11th, signally a return to normal, the line of social distancing shoppers, ran the full length of Foodtown”s Roosevelt Island Store. The market has lead the way in innovating safe shopping.

Is Roosevelt Island Reopening?

The Farmers Market, as much a social as well as a shopping event, reopens with cautions in place. That’s expected.

But a forecast for sunny skies and a high in the 70s also signals welcome relief to match the occasion.

The first hour of the market will be strictly for Senior Citizens and the disabled. Social Distancing measures will strictly be enforced by PSD officers.

RIOC Daily Update, May 11th, 2020

The Good News Is Regional

Hints of Roosevelt Island’s reopening harmonize with good news for New York State.

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This month, Governor Cuomo, who’s earned hero status nationally, enacted the first step in the state’s reopening. Five upstate regions meeting safety criteria have permission began the return to normal. Downstate follows this week, but New York City waits until June.

More important, Cuomo, on Sunday, reported the second day with fewer than 100 coronavirus deaths since March.

As the governor cautioned, we are not out of the disaster zone yet. While a step in the right direction, 97 deaths in a single day would make a heartbreaking headline under normal conditions.

Get local: Roosevelt Island News

But good news is good news and New York City chimes in…

We are not out of the woods, but when you see that number go down as low as 55, that sure is heartening

Mayor Bill de Blasio, May 11th, 2020, press briefing on number of new cases.

The number of coronavirus victims in ICUs was also down.

And “the percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19 citywide, (was) down from 17 percent to 13 percent.”

From Roosevelt Island through New York City and across the state, it was a good news day.

What’s going on nationally is too chaotic to indicate much of anything, but here, we are doing our part.

Conclusion: Roosevelt Island Reopening, Risks and Responsibilities

Roosevelt Islanders want this trend to strengthen, expand and continue. With that comes the need to be good neighbors.

Most have been, out on the promenades and in the parks, but exceptions are hard to miss, especially in good weather. Adults and even children with their parents mix in without masks, without social distancing.

Caring for your own health is your own business, but protecting your neighbors is a responsibility for all of us.

  • Bring a mask when you leave home.
  • Wear the mask and/or maintain a six foot distance in public.

There’s a misconception about face masks. While they offer some personal protection, they mainly protect others.

So, be a good neighbor.

And let’s keep that trail of good news unbroken. We are all in this together, and we need everyone playing by the same rules.


  1. Great news that the Island is slowly and hopefully carefully reopening. But, we must follow the rules and not underestimate the tenacity of the virus. Hours of operation for the Farmer’s Market and local businesses should be posted/advertised. That would be helpful.

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