A group of Staten Island restaurant owners have filed a lawsuit against the city and state to try to force the return of indoor dining in New York City immediately, making it the second such indoor dining lawsuit to be filed in the last week.

The lawsuit, which was threatened several weeks ago, was filed this morning on behalf of several restaurants including Bocelli’s Restaurant in Grasmere, Joyce’s Tavern in Eltingville and the group Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue. They are demanding that restaurants citywide be allowed to immediately reopen for indoor dining at 50% capacity in order to compete with restaurants in other parts of the state which are already open at half capacity.

“According to Governor Cuomo’s logic, it is dangerous to eat indoors at Osteria Bocelli in suburban Staten Island, but it is safe to dine indoors in restaurants located in Yonkers, White Plains, Hempstead and the overcrowded Hamptons,” the suit states.

Mark Fonte and Louis Gelormino, two of the lawyers involved in the suit, told the Post that business owners are incensed at what they say is the "mayor’s dismissive attitude toward their plight. If the weather turns cold and outdoor dining is shut down, we anticipate that about 75 percent of them will close for good.”

The third lawyer involved in the suit is James Mermigis, who also filed a $2 billion lawsuit on behalf of over 350 restaurants last week to get indoor dining restarted in the city. He also represented over 1,500 gym owners around the state in a class action lawsuit in August, which resulted in Cuomo allowing them to reopen at limited capacity.

The restaurant owners, along with Republican state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and GOP City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo, announced the new lawsuit outside of the Richmond County Supreme Courthouse this morning. “Enough is enough,” said DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant owner Rob DeLuca, another member of the lawsuit. “We feel like we’re being discriminated against. We’re being bullied, and my mother always told me, always stand up to bullies.”

Matteo said, “You can now go to Jersey, and for most Staten Islanders that’s a quick five-minute trip over a bridge to visit local indoor dining. So none of this makes sense that New York City doesn’t have indoor dining.”

Malliotakis argued that New York City had long since passed all the metrics the state had laid out for reopening, with the COVID-19 infection rate below 1 percent in the city. But at his press conference on Tuesday morning, Cuomo said the obstacle to restarting indoor dining in NYC isn't the infection rate, or even the density of the city, as had been previously cited. Instead, he said it mostly had to do with the lack of compliance with the safety guidelines from bars and restaurants in the city versus other parts of the state.

"In the other localities... they're doing better compliance," Cuomo said. "I'm trying to figure out how we can do compliance of indoor dining in New York City safely."

Cuomo argued that the city had failed to provide inspectors to check compliance on bars and restaurants after outdoor dining resumed in July, forcing Cuomo to start the task force made up of the Sheriff's Office and the State Liquor Authority. But he said that their numbers have been spread too thin and there was no way they could be expected to do compliance checks on the entire city going forward were indoor dining to restart.

Last week, Cuomo suggested that if the NYPD became more actively involved with enforcement of social distancing guidelines, indoor dining could restart. After an overwhelmingly negative reaction to that, Cuomo backed off the NYPD, and instead said it could be inspectors from any city agency, including the Department of Health, who step up to do the enforcement.

"Restaurants double the number of bars—who is going to do the enforcement?" Cuomo said. "NYPD could do it, but they're too busy fighting crime. Health inspectors could do it, sanitation inspectors could do it, any regulatory inspector could do it. But they could have been doing the bars too and they didn't. And the only mechanism that NYC is using is the Sheriff's Office. Did you ever hear of the Sheriff's Office? There's like 150 people in the Sheriff's Office...and the sheriffs are doing airports, borders, quarantine enforcement, theoretically bars and now restaurants too? No."