Local venues plan for Super Bowl LV during pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Super Bowl would usually be one of the busier nights for restaurants and bars, but instead, it will look very different this year.

"The nice thing about Craft Hall is that we can spread out all of our tables. There's a nice view of the Super Bowl anywhere you sit," said Alison Gutsche, general manager of Craft Hall.

The Northern liberties business is the largest indoor restaurant in the city, but with the pandemic disrupting sporting events, venues won't get their full house for the big game either.

With 35,000 square feet of dining space, they're aiming to have less than 25% capacity for their ticketed watch party.

Masks will be mandatory, and tables will be spaced more than six feet apart.

"We're hoping to give people that option of a safe place to come out and watch the game," said Gutsche.

Parx Casino in Bensalem, Bucks County, is faced with a similar situation as they plan to open their indoor-outdoor beer garden for game day.

"You're socially distanced. You have to wear your mask. When you walk into PARX Casino, they have to take your temperature," said Carrie Nork Minelli at Parx Casino. "It's definitely safer than going to your friend's house with 25 people."

The CDC posted guidelines on how to stay safe at Super Bowl gatherings but recommended people watch from home.

Another blow business owners say while trying to stay afloat amid the pandemic.

"We won't be able to do it like we did last year," said Michael Puggi with Big Charlies in South Philadelphia.

Because of its size, Big Charlies, known as the city's unofficial Kansas City Chief's bar, will stay closed during the Super Bowl this year.

"Very disappointing, but we're in a serious time. As long as we'll be able to watch the game, we'll be okay," he added.

Still, those choosing to open their doors see this as a chance to keep the tradition of watching sports, albeit socially distanced, with others alive.
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