Pa. Thanksgiving eve alcohol ban upsets business owners: 'It's a little bit more than salt in the wound'

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Bar owners prep for Thanksgiving eve alcohol ban
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The ban goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Bars and restaurant owners in the Philadelphia region are reacting to new restrictions that bring a screeching halt to alcohol sales on Thanksgiving eve.

On Monday, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine ordered the suspension of alcohol sales at all bars and restaurants - for one night only - in an effort to slow down the rise on COVID-19 cases.

The order comes as 4,762 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday in addition to the 7,075 cases reported Sunday for a two-day total of 11,837. The statewide total is now 314,401.

SEE ALSO: Pennsylvania bans alcohol sales at bars, restaurants on Thanksgiving Eve as COVID cases climb

Businesses say the hits just keep on coming.

"It's a little bit more than salt in the wound, this is our life. We're dealing with real-life consequences," said Matthew Yeck of Gaul & Co. Malt House.

At John Henry's Pub in Ardmore, owner Kathy Kearney got choked up, saying, "It's really hard. It's been tough trying to make those weekly decisions on how to keep your business open."

Levine says the alcohol sales suspension begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday and will stay in effect through 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

"Every little bit counts. All the money going out the door, everything in coming-- every cent counts. It's going to hurt," added Kearney.

The new restriction hits a bit harder for businesses in Philadelphia, which on Friday lost the ability to serve patrons indoors altogether.

"You're going to have a lot of college kids home. They're going to be hanging out in their basements, apartments," said Jim Kirk, co-owner of Kite and Key.

"I understand the mentality of not having a packed college bar, but we're restaurants," added Matthew Rossi, owner of Nick's Roast Beef.