Yellow phase isn't keeping businesses in Philadelphia suburbs down

GLENDSIDE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Nearly two weeks after outdoor dining resumed in the Philadelphia suburbs, restaurant managers are responding in various ways.

Mornings in Glenside are getting closer to normal now that popular breakfast spot The Village Diner is back open and regulars, like Jenny Richman, have returned.

Richman feels confident in the measures she sees diner staff are taking.

"You can see they have hand sanitizer and are wiping everything down. We wear masks up to the counter and take them off here. I do feel comfortable," said Richman.

The diner has increased its sidewalk seating capacity and cleaning protocols. Procedures have been changed and menus were replaced by sheets of papers with QR codes so guests can pull up the menu on their phones.

"It's been a struggle for staff because everything is outside now and we had to move everything to where it was easier to grab stuff but they've done great," said Jackie Ecker, owner of The Village Diner.

Nearly two weeks in, it's too early to say whether outdoor dining has increased the number of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania's suburbs. Montgomery County officials said the county has received only two complaints about restaurants not following the outdoor dining guidelines.

But some restaurants are taking a different approach. Although it has an outdoor deck, Le Onde Ristorante in Elkins Park has decided to wait before opening its deck to customers.

Manager Donald Haxhiu said the restaurant is waiting 14 days to see how the numbers of COVID-19 cases is impacted by the loosening in social distancing guidelines before it moves forward with opening its outdoor dining area.

Meanwhile, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant moved ahead with plans to open its seventeenth location in Newtown Wednesday despite the pandemic. It brought furloughed workers from its other restaurants to launch this one.

"It's really important to get into the process of working in a restaurant so when we get the opportunity to open indoors our staff is confident with keeping our guests safe and following CDC guidelines," said Warren Sewell, regional manager for Iron Hill.
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