Gym, Restaurant Owners In Fight Of Their Lives With New Statewide Restrictions – CBS Kitchener

HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA (CBS) – A new round of COVID-19 restrictions will go into effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m. in Pennsylvania as the state tries to control the skyrocketing number of coronavirus cases. Some restaurants are grateful that the community has been by their side throughout the pandemic to keep them open, but further closure will create desperation.

The restrictions will take effect shortly after midnight at 12:01 a.m. This introduces a ban on indoor food, closes indoor gyms and interrupts the entire kindergarten for 12th grade sports.

Gym and restaurant owners are fighting for their lives right now, including the owner of Piero’s Italian restaurant.

“It’s really depressing,” said restaurant owner John Neal.

The Christmas wreaths in Pieros in Huntingdon Valley now remind Neal of the last Christmas of his eleven-year-old restaurant daily after new COVID restrictions were announced.

“It’s daunting,” said Neal. “When he stood up as the governor of our state, he told us that he was looking for small business owners because he was a small business owner. We don’t see that. “

The governor orders all indoor restaurants to close at midnight at least until January 4th. The gyms must also be closed.

“For the next three weeks, I ask the Pennsylvanians to stand with me against COVID,” said Wolf on Thursday.

But some are resisting the governor’s orders. In Bucks County, the Newtown Athletic Club announced online that it will remain open because “we believe in the importance of fitness, which is essential in the fight against COVID-19.”

People have mixed reactions.

“If people are smart, they will do what is right for them,” said Steve Manas, a Langhorne resident. “Don’t infect yourself, don’t infect each other.”

“Things have to change and they can’t change if people are,” said Mike Provenzano of Newtown. “We have to sacrifice a little.”

Piero’s owner has his own message to Governor Tom Wolf.

“If you want us to close, you have to help us because we can’t,” said Neal.

Neal does what he can to keep Piero alive. Cheesesteaks, pizza, and other casual foods have been added to his upscale menu, and he hopes the takeout will get him through.

However, Neal worries that unless state or federal aid is received, the restaurant and many others could close for good within the next two months.

“It’s really annoying what the governor is doing to small businesses,” said Megan Lamplugh.

Guests are not allowed to enter restaurants or gyms for the next three weeks. Before COVID, Prescatore BYOB had space for around 200 guests on a Friday or Saturday evening.

“Tonight is a very busy night for us,” said Julianna Lashley. “Busy is what I like to say, but we’re looking for about 50 people for dinner.”

While the owners hope to still be here in the New Year, they pamper guests with a special treat on Friday evenings.

“When our last night was open, free cannolis with dinner purchase because we just wanted to thank our community for helping us,” Lashley said.

Over in Delaware County, the owner of Santinos Tap and Table is frustrated.

“It’s wrong. What they’re doing is wrong,” said CJ DeMarco.

The restaurant opened last November, just months before the pandemic.

“It’s hard to try and feed your family extra income if you do now,” said Lamplugh.

DeMarco says he is worried about his employees closing during their busiest hours.

“You’ve fought your way through this whole thing enough and get it right before the holidays are wrong,” DeMarco said.

These restaurants are reluctant to invest in additional heat lamps or tents during the winter months. They hope that taking away will help them stay afloat.

Matt Petrillo and Alecia Reid of CBS3 contributed to this report.

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