PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monday was the first night of indoor dining for some Pennsylvania restaurants after being shut down for three weeks due to COVID restrictions. Indoor dining, gyms, museums, and casinos are just some of the businesses allowed to reopen.
Eyewitness News stopped by a popular Bucks County restaurant where there is one thing still not on the menu.
Monday night was the first time diners have been able to eat inside at Isaac Newton’s Bar and Restaurant since Dec. 12.
“It’s really hard because this is our busy time of the year,” manager Kevin Brawn said.
Restaurants have been closed for indoor dining as part of the governor’s COVID safety restrictions.
Those that have self-certified are now able to open at 50% capacity with one popular part still missing to prevent crowds.
“The bars are still closed. You are not allowed to physically sit at the bar,” Brawn said.
Despite that, and other safety changes still in place, like plexiglass barriers and masks, everyone is just grateful to be back.
“This has been here for 30 years and has a very strong base of regulars that come in here all the time,” Brawn said.
“This is the closest thing to a Cheers bar in this part of the country,” customer Alan Jett said.
Jett has been coming here for 28 years, noting the community we’ve all lost during the pandemic.
“The solitude, the loneliness, the not being able to get out and do things,” Jett said.
“It’s hard for everybody,” Amanda Tumolo said.
Tumolo has been working here for almost four years. She says with sales down almost 50%, so too are tips, something not lost on customers.
“We overtip every time we’re out even if we do takeout,” customer Tammy Schnieder said.
Still, despite the changes, staff and patrons are doing what they can to stay open and safe.
“I was a football coach for a long time at the high school and I teach my kids to play by the rules, tell me the rules and I’ll play by them and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Jett said.
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.
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