2 years later: Many Philadelphia businesses looking to brighter days post-pandemic

Philadelphia health officials have said COVID cases in the city have remained consistently low over the last several weeks.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- After two years of mandates and a series of restrictions, many businesses in Philadelphia are feeling a sense of normalcy.

"The stress level has gone down immensely, people are just happier. It makes my life so much easier," said Sueno manager Josh Leva.

Leva said workers are now able to focus more on the customer experience, but he understands that not everyone is ready to return to normal just yet.

"I think the name of the game right now is just getting everybody comfortable. If you want to wear a mask, great. If you don't, great. I think that should be the key thing moving forward -- we need to get back to a place where everybody feels safe," Leva added.

Sharing that spirit is Philadelphia's oldest continuously operating tavern.

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"It's crazy to think about what we've gone through the last two years: the challenges, the rollercoaster, the ups and downs," said Gabby Rubery of McGillin's Olde Ale House.

The popular bar is now in the midst of gearing up for a long-awaited true Saint Patrick's Day celebration. It's their 162nd party.

"We have our green beer, we have our Saint Patrick's Day cocktail menu," Rubery explained.

Many are hopeful the taste of COVID freedom isn't short-lived.

"As long as everyone is being safe and like vaccinated, and the numbers are going down, I feel pretty safe about it," said one Rittenhouse Square resident.

City health officials have said COVID cases in the city have remained consistently low over the last several weeks.
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