Restaurants and gyms in Philadelphia try to make it work in light of new restrictions

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ByJaclyn Lee via WPVI logo
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
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A day after officials announced the new restrictions in Philadelphia due to the soaring coronavirus cases, restaurant owners aren't mincing words.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A day after officials announced the new restrictions in Philadelphia due to the soaring coronavirus cases, Manayunk restaurant owner Winnie Clowry didn't mince words

"This is not about eating out," said Clowry, of Winnie's Manayunk. "This is about people's livelihoods here - and the fact that no one could come up with a solution for our staff is sickening, just sickening to me."

Starting Friday, indoor dining will no longer be allowed despite the approaching drop in temperatures. Outdoor dining can only seat a maximum of four and everyone has to be from the same household.

Restaurants are now scrambling to make it work.

RELATED: Philadelphia announces sweeping new restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 cases

"We would ask our customers to, instead of dining in as usual, just order take out from us and keep our door open," said Charles Dang, owner of Main Street Pho.

Executive Director of the Manayunk Development Corporation Gwen McCauley said their top priority is throwing a lifeline to struggling businesses. The organization is encouraging as much foot traffic as possible.

"We were planning on this whole 'thank you' and now it's sort of a, 'thank you but please keep on coming,' you know?" said McCauley. "So we're promoting online shopping, we're promoting gift cards, we're promoting curbside pickup and take out and not to forget these people who employ so many people."

The city is also forcing indoor workouts to come to a halt. Gym owners called this another blow after months of closures earlier in the year.

"It means something when they say every penny counts because it's really true at this point," said Never Give Up Training owner Ali Jackson. "Even if you don't love outdoor classes, if you're in a financial position to stay on board, keep those memberships at your local gym."

But most business owners in Manayunk are scratching their heads, as the restrictions only apply to Philadelphia and not the surrounding counties. That means people can cross over in the suburbs, which is less than half a mile away from Manayunk, and eat and workout indoors.

"Why can't everybody that's in charge come together at a meeting and do the same thing?" asked Clowry. "All you're doing is saying you can't inside in Philadelphia so just go somewhere else."