Local bar owners express frustrations over Governor Wolf’s new mandate

Local News

Frustrations are growing for some area bar owners after Governor Wolf issued a new mandate that at first looked like good news.

We headed over to State Street with a look at what local bar owners have to say about this.

As restaurants will soon be able to welcome more dining guests inside, some will say goodbye much earlier than they’re used to.

On September 21st, restaurants will be able to hold 50% capacity inside, but they will also have to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. each night.

“We should have been at 50% this whole time, so I think we are back up to where we should be. The cut back on hours and bar sales is not helping us at all,” said Chris Sirianni, Owner of Brewerie.

Alcohol it’s a money maker.

“We do everything we can. We are six feet apart, we wear the mask, we clean and clean and clean. So what are we doing wrong? If they want us to close just let us know. We’ll close,” said Bertrand Artigues, Owner of Cloud 9.

Dr. Rachel Lavine said that this decision comes after the commonwealth saw a significant increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases in people ages 19 to 24.

Some owners explain that those are not the crowds they are attracting.

“The people that are coming to our crowd is a little bit older, so to mandate to stop drinking and to cut everything off at 10 seems a little bit arbitrary. I feel like midnight might have been a better time if you really had to do something like that,” said Rebecca Styn, Proprietor for Room 33.

One bar owner explained that he was looking forward to having more people come in for sporting events this year since they are not allowed to be in the stadiums. Now that might not necessarily be the case.

“Most of our business comes in the evening hours, especially heading into football season. You’ve got Monday, Thursday and Sunday night football and those games don’t end by 10 p.m. So it’s just here we are spending money for the NFL ticket and all these things and now they’re going to close us down and not let us serve alcohol after 10 p.m.,” said Matt Marini, Owner of Irish Cousins.

Another concern that bar owners have is what happens once the weather breaks and outdoor dining is eliminated?

“The numbers are down. Everything is down. What now?” asked Artigues.

Any restaurant that wishes to increase to 50% indoor capacity must complete the online self certification process by October 5th.

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