By Dan Koob

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Restaurants in our region are preparing for a New Year’s Eve unline any in recent memory. They’re also looking ahead to potentially better times in 2021.

It’s the end of a hellacious year for restaurants and businesses, with one final blow coming in the form of a scaled-down New Year’s Eve.

“We don’t expect a whole lot for New Year’s Eve,” said Urban Village Brewery part owner Dave Goldman. “It’s tough. Having only outdoor dining in the winter is certainly a challenge.”

No ball drops or indoor dining to be found here, just heaters.

Goldman is part owner of Urban Village Brewery in Northern Liberties.

He says they’ll be applying for the second round of critical PPE funds when made available, but he’s hoping as the calendar keeps turning, the outlook gets sunnier.

“I’m really positive. I think it’s just gonna be every month is better than the month before as more people get vaccinated and as the weather gets warmer. I think we’re in good shape,” Goldman said.

“Philadelphia, specifically, the rules have been a little harsher, a little more difficult to navigate,” said Rosita Lamberti.

Caffe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill, New Jersey is one of several restaurants Lamberti overlooks on both sides of the Delaware River. Despite the discrepancies in policy, prioritizing safety remains number one.

One of the things Caffe Aldo Lamberti has invested in is a thermal imaging camera system that will not only tell you your temperature, but also let you know if you forgot your mask.

“Everyone is required to walk through the front door and have their temp scanned. It’s just one measure we can take just to make sure everyone who comes in is healthy,” Lamberti said.

New Jersey allows 25% capacity but its 10 p.m. curfew means Dec. 31 is about to be very different.

“We’ll be empty by midnight. It’ll actually be the first time we’ll be home with our families,” Lamberti said.

Lamberti says they usually have a DJ, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight but that’ll have to be saved for December 2021.

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