Philadelphia restaurants work to stay afloat amid restrictions, cold weather

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Restaurants in Philadelphia are doing what they can to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting inside dining and the chilly temperatures.

"Honestly when the weather is not good, no one wants to sit outside," Cotoletta owner and chef Beth Amadio said.

Restaurants like Cotoletta in Fitler Square have hauled out heaters and blankets.

They also serve hot drinks.

It's all to try to entice people to dine outside.

And it's a challenge.

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The challenge becomes more difficult with plunging temperatures and more rain on the way this weekend.

Adding to the issue for Philly restaurants is that indoor dining is still allowed in the suburbs and New Jersey, so diners can choose to go elsewhere.

Save Philly Restaurants is a coalition that formed at the height of the pandemic. More than 250 local restaurants are lobbying for support and relief, founded by restauranteur Nicole Marquis.

"We're imploring our elected officials to knock at the doors at the federal level and say 'pass that restaurants act.' The restaurant industry here in Philadelphia employs tens of thousands of people, so we desperately need funding to get through the next severe months," Marquis said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Kenney said he's pushing for state and federal funding.

He announced this week that until the New Year, the city's Use and Occupancy tax will be adjusted to exclude the square footage of restaurants and bars that are closed.



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