BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Restaurants and bars are adapting after Governor Tom Wolf imposed new restrictions this week.
Owners of various restaurants have said that they are frustrated and ‘trying to keep up.’ Seven Siren’s Brewing Company in Bethlehem, which doesn’t have a kitchen, says they have to get creative.
The Bethlehem brewery is now serving the ‘90’s Lunch Box Special’: for two extra dollars, customers get a lunchable or an uncrustable sandwich and pringles with their beer.
“I don’t think we are going to take this off our menu, after the pandemic,” says co-owner Josh Divers. “We had people come in last night that came here for the uncrustables. They were super excited. And our meat and cheese platter, which is a lunchable.”
Seven Sirens Brewing Company opened in February, weeks before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since then, they say it’s been a struggle to keep open.
“We’ve learned to just try to adapt,” said Divers.
Rui Lucas from Iron Abbey Gastropub in Horsham says he has had enough with the mandates and is taking action. He has helped initiate the PA Restaurant Bar Covid Response Alliance, which unites hundreds of frustrated owners.
“The response was overwhelming,” said Lucas. “What we need is funding.”
He adds that he wants to keep his customers and staff healthy, but also wants his restaurant to stay afloat.
“You go in and change your business model to take out, then you change your business model to outdoor dining, then you change your business model to fifty percent indoor seating,” said Lucas.
On Friday, Governor Wolf urged Congress to pass the “Restaurant Act” potentially giving independent restaurants federal funding for payroll, benefits, rent, PPE, and more. Lucas and Divers say they hope it passes fast.
“We gambled everything we have to do what we love, so it’s just a matter of overcoming this hurtle and figuring out what the next one is,” said Lucas.
For more information on the PA Restaurant Bar COVID Response Alliance, please click here.
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