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Restaurants in yellow phase counties can soon reopen outdoor dining

The governor's order takes effect June 5, 2020.

HARVEYS LAKE, Pa. — Governor Tom Wolf threw a lifeline to restaurants Wednesday afternoon announcing that eateries with outdoor seating may begin welcoming customers, even in the yellow phase.   

Luzerne County moves into yellow this Friday. The governor's order on outdoor seating takes effect one week after that.

Newswatch 16 spoke to two restaurant owners in Luzerne County's Back Mountain about allowing outdoor seating. They had two very different opinions.

Employees at Rich and Charlotte's Bar and Grill in Harveys Lake were wiping down tables and chairs and have outdoor seating ready to go for next Friday, June 5.

That's when Governor Wolf said restaurants in counties in the yellow phase can have customers eat outside.

"We're looking forward to coming back any time we can because we need it! We need the cash flow," Rich Williams, owner of Rich and Charlotte's Bar and Grill, said.

The governor's office said restaurants in the yellow phase that will be offering outdoor dining cannot have reusable menus and tables should be placed six feet apart.

David Savage of Lake Silkworth said he would feel comfortable eating outside at a restaurant once restrictions are lifted.

"I'm thrilled we're finally coming out of it. Too many places are starving to death. Too many places are not going to recover," Savage said.

"We have the sanitizer over there and everything. We'll take care of the tables. I went and bought a special case of sanitizer so we can make sure to take care of that," Williams said.

Meanwhile, at CK's Cantina and Grill in Dallas Township, owner Cody Kyttle said he will not be reopening outdoor dining when Luzerne County moves into the yellow phase.

The Mexican restaurant has been doing about 150 take out orders a day. Kyttle said he thinks reopening outdoor dining will just complicate things.

"Having spots available for curbside and then the crowd control, as well, with people wanting to come and sit on the deck, I think it would just cause a bit of an issue as far as managing all those aspects at once," Kyttle said.

Again, Luzerne County moves into the yellow phase this Friday, May 29.

Restaurants in yellow phase counties can begin offering outdoor dining next Friday, June 5.

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