By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. But things are significantly different this year due to COVID so people and restaurants are having to change their plans.

Restaurants are doing what they can to come up with creative ways to ring in the new year.

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Eyewitness News stopped by eateries in South Jersey and Philadelphia to find out what’s in store for diners.

New Year’s Eve will look much different when the ball drops to finally put an end to 2020.

Times Square won’t be packed. In fact, it’s not even open to the public.

Restaurants will also be empty by the time the clock strikes midnight.

“It’s business as usual. We do have to close by 10 o’clock so that’ll be a little bit different,” said Matthew Marks with Keg & Kitchen.

Management at Keg & Kitchen in Westmont, New Jersey, says many Pennsylvania residents have come to the Garden State to enjoy indoor dining since restrictions went into effect weeks ago.

But over in Philadelphia, one Fairmount restaurant is allowing residents to ring in the new year with a delicious meal at home.

“You’ll have all the fixings that just need to be heated up. It’s dry-aged New York strip steaks. You get two per order, twice-baked potatoes, chard broccolini on the side with a little shaved pecorino,” Bar Hygge co-owner Julie Keener said.

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The decadent meal even comes with dessert.

And over in Old City, Cuba Libre is doing the best it can to have some normalcy for the holiday.

“One of the things that we are trying to do is do to-go cocktails and we also have our full menu available to go too, so some people want to enjoy their dinner at home, their celebrations at home, which is absolutely great. We want to make sure that we can be able to reach them too. We have takeout and delivery,” said Aaron Bowers with Cuba Libre.

One thing most in the service industry can agree on is they’re ready for the new year.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing Philadelphia’s restaurant scene come back. It’s been such a long, hard year for us,” Keener said.

All restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania close at 10 p.m. Thursday night. Restaurant owners are hoping the weather holds up for New Year’s Eve.


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