By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — COVID-19 has had so many restaurants, if not all, working to not only survive but reinvent themselves to thrive. Booker’s Restaurant and Bar in West Philly is no exception to that.

At Booker’s in West Philadelphia, I remember getting nice and cozy inside of a lovely dining room filled with warmth and friendliness, followed by plates of American cuisine that comforted me from the inside out — like their crispy fried calamari, mussels, and luscious lamb chops.

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But when I went back to sit with owner Saba Tedla recently, while the same friendliness was still in the room, I was feeling something more at the table — resilience.

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While this time of COVID has had its grip on this restaurant, reimagination has kept Booker’s breathing.

“Reopening from that first shutdown was like completely opening up a new restaurant,” Tedla said. “Rehiring completely. Then takeout requires, your food has to be easily carryable like where the delivery people is not going to mess it up. Certain food doesn’t carry well. We had to readjust some of our menu items, having to create the outdoor seating. We had to make a decision, we want people to be comfortable but we’ve got to worry about airflow. But then, some people are threatened by enclosure spaces so you have to address that as well. Being adaptable has been critical to our success.”

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For more on Booker’s Restaurant & Bar, watch the video above.

Vittoria Woodill