Philadelphia’s restaurant industry is gearing up to return to indoor dining for a second time after city officials announced Tuesday that the service can resume Saturday at 25% of an eatery’s seating capacity, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.
The resumption of indoor service after another lengthy ban aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 is being met with mixed reactions from restaurant owners and city officials alike.
Lifting the prohibition on indoor service is a “big step in the right direction,” said Nicole Marquis, owner of vegan concepts HipCityVeg, Bar Bombón and Charlie was a sinner.
“The unintended consequence of indoor dining restrictions has been to push more gatherings into people’s homes and living rooms, which is inherently riskier,” added Marquis, who is also the founder of Save Philly Restaurants, a coalition of business owners representing upwards of 250 Greater Philadelphia restaurants and bars. “There’s no social distancing and serving protocols aren’t known or enforced in private homes.”
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Other restaurant owners are planning to stick exclusively to outdoor dining and takeout service until the pandemic is further under control, despite Philadelphia greenlighting a return to limited indoor operations.