It is the primary Friday for the reason that ban on indoor eating was lifted and restaurant homeowners in Harrisburg have combined emotions –

Indoor dining restrictions have been lifted and restaurant owners in Harrisburg are eager for business turnout into the weekend.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Jan. 4, Gov. Tom Wolf lifted the ban on indoor dining allowing restaurants to open their doors to 50% capacity.

This comes after the three-week restriction on all indoor dining across the commonwealth.

The ban left businesses scrambling in a time where employees needed it the most.

“Their tips would have been a lot more if people were sitting here, especially before Christmas, the week between Christmas and New Year,” says Sri Kumarasingam, restaurant owner of Harrisburg Pastorante. 

Now that restaurants have the greenlight, Cafe Fresco restaurant owner Brian Fertenbaugh says one must be careful in case new mitigations are put in place.

“You really have to watch your payroll, you have to watch your inventory, and keep things as low,” Fertenbaugh said. 

While the current lift on restrictions will add some financial help, Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, says it will only be a temporary help.

“It’s going to help them keep there heads above the water a little bit longer until the state can finally decide to do something else for them,” Moran said, “and hopefully the state will come in and provide some grants in the coming months.”

However, many remain hopeful as new efforts are being implemented to control the spread of COVID-19.

“We have spring right around the corner, we have rapid testing being a lot more available, we have vaccines showing up, so hopefully with all of that we’re gonna see our restaurants start to flourish again,” Ben Fileccia said, Director of Operations and Strategy for the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.

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It’s the first Friday since the ban on indoor dining has been lifted and restaurants are now allowed to open their doors at 50% capacity. See how restaurants owners say their businesses have been doing since restrictions were lifed. @fox43

— Victoria Lucas (@victorialucastv) January 9, 2021

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