Restaurant Owners Want Outdoor Dining, To-Go Cocktails Extended Past Pandemic

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In the May 18 Primary Election, voters supported a referendum limiting Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration to 21 days only.

Last week, the state legislature voted that the emergency declaration had officially expired.

Two casualties of that decision are outdoor dining and to-go cocktails, reports Annie McCormick for 6abc.com.

Both were created to help restaurants and bars survive when the pandemic prohibited indoor dining. The Liquor Control Board is notifying restaurant and bar owners this week that both practices must immediately end.

But many restaurant owners want them to stay, having spent between $1,500 to $75,000 to create outdoor seating.

Alex Morris of Pinocchios in Media said the outdoor set up for them was painstaking, adding many customers are still uncomfortable eating indoors.

“Just getting the tent alone was a huge nightmare because obviously there was a huge spike in demand for tents,” he said.

At nearby Stephen’s on State in Media, manager Tom Dubois said the to-go drinks kept them in business. “The to-go drinks were just as important as the food. I would say about 20-30 percent I sold during the pandemic were related,” he said.

Read more at 6abc.com about ending restaurant outdoor seating and to-go cocktails.

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