A section of Center City was closed to traffic to help restaurants amid COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A section of Center City was closed to traffic to help restaurants and businesses bring in customers while adhering to strict coronavirus safety guidelines.

Along 13th Street, transforming part of it into an alfresco dining room, business owners hope this new Midtown Village Outdoor dining can save their restaurants.

"We were able to get 13th street from locust to chestnut shut down to expand our dining rooms," said Nicole Marquis, CEO of Charlie was a Sinner.

Charlie was a Sinner is one of many restaurants with tables and chairs flanking a wide makeshift pedestrian walkway down the center. Friday was the first night for this dining experience in the heart of the city.

Marquis says this is a chance for owners to revive their businesses. "Indoor dining has been shut down since the pandemic. All of the restauranteurs had to come together and create a space, a plan for this," said Marquis.

Teddy Sourias, owner of Trademan's said, "We've brought back 60 percent of our wait staff, which is huge because initially we only had 25 percent."

Employees back to work and businesses like Tradesman's are getting creative to replicate their indoor sports bar, outside.

"They take your temperature, there's hand sanitizer everywhere. You can be exposed as much or as little as you want," said Elle Jynadoh. "There are no cars, there's more room."

Following the strict COVID-19 guidelines, masks are mandatory, while customers are not eating.
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