Pennsylvania restaurants are once again adding tables and barstools to their dining areas. Philadelphia restaurants, on the other hand, still has the restrictions in place.
On April 4, PA eased COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants. The state now allows bar service without curfew. Customers can now order alcohol without buying food. Also, restaurants may increase indoor capacity to 75%.
The Great American Pub in Wayne, PA opened its bar seats again over the weekend. Manager Chrissy McIvor says that the pub is “getting back to normal.” Owner Tim Hemcher says this is a step moving forward. “[We are] trying to welcome [as many] people back in…as possible.”
However, Philly will not follow suit. Philly COVID-19 cases doubled in March, reaching a positivity rate of nearly 7%. As a result, restaurants must operate at only 50% capacity with bar restrictions.
Philly Restaurants Making a Comeback
Despite bans and limits, the Philly restaurant scene is still making a comeback. As the weather gets warm, some restaurants will open for outdoor dining. Some are open for limited indoor dining as more vaccines become available. Over 350,000 Philadelphians received both vaccine doses.
La Peg opened for outdoor dining on April 1. “We have this fantastic outdoor space that can accommodate [a] lot of people. We’re just excited to be full again,” says general manager Liz Boleslavsky.
What’s Next for Philly
The first annual Northern Liberties Restaurant Week will run from April 9 to 18. Bourbon & Branch manager Adam Honeycutt hopes it will “bring more people out” after a long pause. Philly foodies can enjoy specials at over 20 restaurants.
In addition, Day by Day in Center City West will also open again on April 9. “We depend on our neighbors. We’re really happy to see them [again],” says owner Robin Barg.