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Are diners a dying American staple due to the coronavirus?

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison visited diners in Susquehanna County trying to keep their doors open and customers' bellies full.

FOREST CITY, Pa. — January 4th was a good day for many restaurants, including Max Deli in Forest City. The governor's restrictions were lifted, reopening the doors to welcome customers to dine inside.

Max Rosas owns Max Deli and was fortunate enough to have had a drive-thru and pickup window installed to help serve customers through the shutdowns, but the ups and downs of closing and reopening restaurants have put a strain on business.

"The most important thing is consistency to be open. We cannot be consistent because we don't know what's going to happen the next day. Today I talk to you, tomorrow the governor changes his mind, and we shut down again. So really is up to him," said Rosas.

During the closures, diners at Shirley's were able to do takeout, but there's something about the Americana of a diner and eating diner food at home just isn't the same.

"That's the difference," said owner Shirley Black. "It's the homemade things that people want to eat, the homemade things like their mother used to make."

Shirley's was closed for 75 days last year during the governor's restrictions. Now with positive COVID-19 cases on the rise, Shirley has fears about what could come next.

"I'm going to be completely out of business. I work very, very hard, and so does my son. We've been established here now five years, and I don't want to see it taken away from me, and if I have to close, it will be taken away from me."

Both Shirley and Max say they are thankful for those loyal customers who continue to support them.