Al Fresco! Philadelphia restaurants pin survival on extended outdoor dining

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A chance to have expanded outdoor dining in Philadelphia could be the only way some businesses survive.

"Outdoor seating would literally save us," says restaurant-bar owner Teddy Sourias.

It's already being considered for suburban restaurants, and downtown establishments want to start the conversation.

"We can't rush this, but a lot of the research is indicating that outdoor is safer than indoor," said Avram Hornik.

Hornik, of FCM Hospitality, who owns Morgan's Pier and Parks on Tap, among other restaurants, penned a letter outlining a safe way to reopen with outdoor dining, including disposable dishware, temperature checks and contact tracing logs.

"If we can have outdoor dining before indoor dining, they should bifurcate the two," he said.

Many residents are already on board.

RELATED: Bill to allow cocktails to-go passes Pennsylvania Senate

"As long as the proper parameters were still in place and we were 6 feet apart, the workers were wearing masks and gloves. I would feel comfortable," said Jessica Goldstein.

"I think it's about time. Nobody really knows when this will be over," said Patrick Marryha.

Outdoor dining isn't the only possible lifeline for businesses during the pandemic. A proposed bill that just passed the Pa. Senate would allow some businesses with liquor licenses to serve cocktails to-go. The bill is now waiting for Governor Tom Wolf's signature.

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