Family-run restaurant declines coronavirus relief in NYC

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Struggling restaurants have been counting on government assistance during coronavirus, as the pandemic continues to trigger financial onslaught for small businesses.

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But Ann & Tony’s co-owner Ralph Napolitano said the Bronx-based Italian restaurant has never relied on government assistance and they don’t plan to now. Napolitano told FOX Business that he’s applied for small business loans but he doesn't expect any progress to be made.

“Just waiting for answers, nothing has come in yet,” he said. “But whatever it is, it is. If it comes through, it comes through. If it doesn’t come through, what are you going to do? You gotta do what you gotta do.”

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Once the lockdown is lifted, Napolitano said he's confident Ann & Tony’s will be able to rise from the ashes as it has through every crisis since its founding in 1927.

Ann & Tony’s restaurant

During times of hardship, Napolitano said the most valuable lessons he’s learned from his family is to stay strong and push through.

“I remember, even as a little boy, there were times where … we were close to sometimes losing our restaurant,” he said. “But it never happened because the one thing we were taught as kids… is that you can’t complain, you can’t have that victim mindset. You’ve got to be mentally tough. You’ve got to be mentally strong…. And you just got to do what you gotta do to make it work and to make it happen.”

Upon reopening, Napolitano said he’s less concerned about receiving aid and more worried about how the business will operate regarding health restrictions. Napolitano and his brother have already purchased thermometers to test employees and, potentially, customers once the restaurant opens its doors.

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“Will the government demand us all be tested for antibodies?” he asked. “We’re even talking about that right now, actually – maybe getting myself, my brother and some of our workers tested before we even open and have it posted… that we’ve been tested and we’re all clean and we’re all good to go.”

Ann & Tony’s restaurant

Ann & Tony’s was originally founded by Napolitano’s great grandfather Eugene Napolitano after immigrating from Italy in 1924. The restaurant still sits in its original Arthur Avenue location and, according to Napolitano, carries out the same family traditions.

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