HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Statewide restrictions on restaurants are crushing businesses. Some are closing permanently, but two in downtown Harrisburg are going dark temporarily.
Stock’s on Second and Carley’s Ristorante and Piano Bar have the same owners; both are now closed for regular indoor dining, which leaves about 10 employees out of a job.
The plexiglass, cleaning supplies, and other barriers only went so far.
“We absolutely have tried to follow all the guidelines that have been given to us from the government. Taken every necessary precaution that we possibly could. It’s just not enough,” said general manager Matthew Krepps.
Krepps says the 25% capacity limit and restrictions on alcohol sales hurt them tremendously.
“The a la carte business, we’re just losing money on that aspect, whereas we’re gaining money on other things,” he said. “We still have catering service, food truck service. We’re doing private events still here in the restaurant.”
However, those events aren’t enough to keep everyone on the payroll.
“It was a little abrupt for the employees here,” Krepps said. “I know it was a tough decision, process for the owners of the restaurant. Everyone here is really like a family. It was difficult for them to have to come in and tell them.”
He says they’re not alone and worries for other restaurants struggling too.
“I feel like it’s going to be the situation in the next few months where we’re going to see more and more of the closures,” Krepps said. “In the bigger cities in the state we’ve already seen a number of closings and it will trickle down here to Harrisburg as well.”
Stock’s and Carley’s hope to reopen to the public and get more staff back once restrictions ease.
At the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a joint virtual public hearing on the restaurant industry in Pennsylvania as it continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Community and Economic Development have all been invited to the hearing to provide updates on the issue.
The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. and can be viewed on senatorboscola.com.