Representatives step in to help alleviate financial burden at restaurants and bars

Coronavirus

Representatives are stepping in to help alleviate financial burden at restaurants and bars.

This comes after lawmakers called for Governor Wolf to remove the twenty five percent capacity limit in restaurants.

We spoke to restaurant owners about what it would mean to be back at fifty percent capacity.

Restaurant owners we spoke to said that it is heartwarming to know that lawmakers are trying to support the community and help them get back on their feet.

Financial hardships are continuing for restaurant and bar owners across the commonwealth.

State representatives are taking the initiative while asking Governor Wolf to remove the twenty five percent capacity and move it back to fifty percent for indoor dining.

“Members of the northwest delegation, that’s members in Northwestern PA, they’ve been overwhelmingly hearing from business owners that this is crippling their business,” said State Representative Ryan Bizzarro, PA 3rd District.

Many residents in Northwestern PA are fleeing to Ohio or Buffalo to enjoy the drinking experience.

Bizzarro said that the twenty five percent capacity rules makes it incredibly difficult to meet operating expenses.

The owner of Calamari’s Squid Row Darci Honard agrees with Representative Bizzarro.

“Having to order food and taking out the bar stools and of those things limiting the amount of people definitely is hurting the restaurants,” said Honard.

Another restaurant The Skunk and Goat said that if the governor were to move back to fifty percent capacity, they still believe that they would be able to maintain proper social distancing.

“When we were at fifty percent people were comfortable and enjoyed dining with us. We still have reservations every single night and we’re still busy every single night, but at the same time it’s like putting a knot in the sand because it’s twenty five percent and we can’t accept you,” said Ann Lewis, Marketing Director of Red Letter Hospitality.

State Representatives Bizzarro, Harkins and Merski said that this hardship could be dangerous in the long term if restaurants can’t revert back to at least fifty percent capacity.

Bizzarro also told us that if this continues, it will stunt the businesses and give the neighboring states inviting competition.

Something that restaurant owners do not want is guests dining out elsewhere and not supporting local establishments.

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