After several months of anticipation, businesses in Pennsylvania are now allowed to offer Bar Service. Multiple Owners say it is the biggest change in these restrictions and will help their business continue to stay alive during the Pandemic. We spoke with Business Owners in our region and share how they feel about restrictions being lifted.
Governor Tom Wolf’s eased restrictions went into effect over the weekend. Some changes include customers not having to order food in order to be served alcohol and allowing businesses to resume bar service, which Owner of D’Arcs Pizza in Windber, Emery D’Arcangelo is most excited about. D’Arcangelo adding: “What we miss the most during the whole restriction era was bar business. We have a local group that likes to be eating and drinking in our pizza shop and of course to be able to expand dine-in is really a positive thing.”
Another change: allowing indoor capacity to be raised up to 75%. But the capacity increase only applies to businesses who are self-certified, which involves agreeing to strict compliances of all public health and safety guidelines. Some businesses, like Stadium Pub & Grill in Johnstown are not self-certified. Owner of Stadium Pub & Grill, Patrick Martella says he was advised by his lawyer not to sign the self-certification compliance which would allow an increase in indoor dinning capacity. Martella saying: “Businesses that did not sign the compliance are still only at 50%. So really the 75% are only for people who do compliances and that only helps the larger businesses in town. Small bars and restaurants in town that don’t have the space to go to 75% doesn’t really help us.”
Although these eased restrictions are a step towards getting back to normal, precautions are still in place, like mask wearing and social distancing between bar stools and tables. Emery D’Arcangelo adding: “We will honor those precautions because of the safety of our employees and customers are most important to us. I know some of those who have passed away from this terrible pandemic so I would rather be safe than sorry so just happy that things are moving in the right direction.”