Center City restaurants forced to remove 'streateries' for street light project

More than a dozen restaurants along a five block stretch in Center City were told to dismantle their outdoor dining structures known as ‘streateries’ to make room for a street light repair project. 

In a letter from the city, restaurants along South 13 Street between Chestnut and Locust were told that their streateries must be removed by Jan. 20. This demand comes just weeks after Philadelphia expanded the outdoor dining program. 

Many restaurants struggling to make it through the coronavirus pandemic saw streateries as a lifeline. For some, the outdoor dining option is the only reason option when dining during a pandemic.

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"For people that feel uncomfortable, that aren't ready yet to go into the restaurant even being fully vaccinated, I think it makes a difference," one diner said. 

With plenty of weeks of frigid winter temperatures ahead, restaurants have already started using heat lamps on sidewalk seating to help keep diners comfortable. 

The city says its streetlight repair project will not be finished until the summer.

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