Restaurants welcome first weekend of customers since lifted COVID-19 restrictions

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Monday, June 14, 2021
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It's the first weekend where the city's final two COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted as of Friday at midnight.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's the first weekend where the city's final two COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted as of Friday at midnight.

Winnie's in Manayunk had a sign on their front door saying you don't have to wear a mask inside if you are fully vaccinated.

The same goes for employees.

"So happy we did everything we were supposed to do, we did a great job, and the masks are gone," said Winnie Clowry, the owner of Winnie's Manayunk.

Clowry says she is thrilled she and her staff no longer have to wear a mask. However, inside there aren't enough cooks in the kitchen.

"We have a goal where we try and hire one person a week. We need 20 people, but I feel like when we get one person locked in. We teach them our culture, and they like it here, and then we get another person from that person," said Clowry.

It's an issue Somo across the street is facing as well.

"We do not have all the employees. We're definitely struggling, both in front of the house and back of the house," said Marissa Krawciw, the general manager. "I'm personally the hostess today. All of our employees are really working a lot of roles right. Now they're taking on a lot."

Krawciw says her staff is currently doing it all.

"With running food, bussing their own tables, seating tables, hostessing, helping the bartenders, bar-backs, all of that type of stuff," added Krawciw.

Also lifted, the 11 p.m. last call has been moved to 2 a.m. However, both Winnie's and Somo don't have enough staff to stay open that late each day they can, right now.

Somo's Kitchen will close at 11 p.m., and the bar will stay open until 1 a.m.

Many dining out said they're making it a point to support local eateries.

"I do believe in supporting small businesses, and also I believe in coming to Philadelphia. I like the idea of sitting outside," said Reginald McGlawn, from Collegeville.

Families are taking the time to catch up and share food out of the house.

"It's nice, it's great, especially for her cause she's been in the house for like a year," said Cheyenne Goodwell, out to eat with her 1-year-old daughter.

However, some say they still don't feel safe letting go of their mask just yet.

"I think it's hard to tell who's actually been vaccinated, so I'm still nervous. I still wear my mask," said Lisa Robinson from Wynnefield.

Mayor Jim Kenney credits more than two-thirds of adults vaccinated.

Pennsylvania will lift its mask mandate on June 28 or once 70% of adults are vaccinated, whichever comes sooner.