Restaurants Cope with Papal Visit Restrictions

Chestnut Street in the Old City section of Philadelphia
Chestnut Street in the Old City section of Philadelphia

Preparation can only go so far for restaurants within the Papal zone.

The anticipated road closures are making it difficult for restaurants to receive fresh food throughout the weekend.

Prime Stache in Old City plans on ordering extra food beforehand, but there’s still room for concern. “If we do get hit really hard… are we gonna run out of food? Because no one can come in to replenish what we lose,” said restaurant manager Alexandra Nidet.

The staff is keeping that fear in the back of their minds. They’re still serving the restaurant’s full menu while preparing packaged sandwiches and chips for those who choose to grab-and-go.

“We’re just trying to stay in the moment, plan as much as we can, and we feel pretty confident about it actually,” said Nidet. “We don’t anticipate having to close.”

A common issue most restaurants are facing is how their employees will get to work with all the road closures and limited public transportation.

Nidet says one of the toughest parts of planning is the creating the employee schedule. “The nightmare is the people who work here because if you live outside Center City you can’t get in so that’s been the hardest thing to kind of manage.”

Another restaurant feeling the hit of the Papal visit is Mace’s Crossing which is located on the Parkway where the Papal festivities will be held.

The staff is currently figuring out workers’ schedules but has already created a plan to control the chaos.

“Anyone who has a ticket is allowed in and if you have reservations you’re allowed in as well,” said waitress Caitlin Thompson.

Staff members at Mace’s Crossing are changing the menu to reduce wait times. They say they’re going to ditch the fancy food and provide more finger foods.

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