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COVID-19 restrictions eased on businesses

Under the loosened state COVID-19 restrictions: restaurants, gyms, theatres, malls, and casinos can increase capacity to 75%.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — The stools are up, and drinks are once again flowing at the bar at Sarah Street Grill in Stroudsburg. 

It's something Manager Christy Connolly says the restaurant has been patiently waiting to do. 

"It's exciting that we're moving forward, and more people are coming out, and people are getting vaccinated. They've already had it. They're just sick of sitting inside, so it's exciting that we're getting back to normal," said Connolly.

Under the loosened state COVID-19 restrictions:

  • Bar service can return, and there's no curfew for ordering drinks. 
  • Restaurants can now serve alcohol without food 
  • Indoor dining can now increase to 75% capacity
  • And the same goes for gyms, theatres, malls, and casinos.
  • Indoor events can hold 25% capacity, while outdoor events can increase to 50% capacity.

RELATED: Pennsylvania still planning to ease restrictions on Sunday, April 4

Over at The Cinder Inn, Bar and Grill in East Stroudsburg, bar seating has been brought back, including an entire bar area which was moved to make room for socially distant tables.

"With having the people be able to come back and not have to order food, you know what I mean, just come in and have a cocktail if they want too and just relax and if we have music, maybe we can start to have live music again, so this is a big deal, this is a really big deal for us," said Diane Goldberg, a chef at The Cinder Inn.

Folks say increasing capacity and being able to receive a drink from the bar again feels really good.

"I'm thrilled, I think it's long overdue, and I can't wait till we're at 100% capacity," Lisa Lopes said from Stroudsburg. "The people who are afraid can stay home if they'd like."

"I think at one point it was to the extent where you went over the bridge and even if you wanted to get a drink, you would have to get a raw, boiled egg for like 50 cents as an excuse to get your drinks, but now that it's getting more lenient I appreciate it very much," said Alexander Ruiz from New Jersey. 

Both restaurant owners say the lifting of restrictions comes at a good time for businesses in the Poconos.