Bethlehem Restaurant owners say livelihood in peril under coronavirus restrictions

Written by on December 11, 2020

Bethlehem Restaurant owners say livelihood in peril under coronavirus restrictions

By Ben Stemrich

December 11, 2020

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has banned indoor dining at restaurants for the next three weeks in the wake of surging coronavirus cases across the state.

Listen to the story.

Prior to the announcement of the latest mitigation orders, some Bethlehem restaurant owners were concerned – and some say their livelihoods are in peril. 

Like Bruce Haines, managing partner at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.

“We’re operating at 50 to 75% revenue level compared to last year at this point. At this point period now we’re going into christmas which is the season where all of us on main street in the historic district…this is our season. And this is where we bank the cash to get through the first quarter…”

Some restaurants have invested in tents and propane tanks for outdoor dining over the winter, but not everyone plans to follow the new rules. Jordan serulneck, owner of Seven Sirens Brewing Company, says they have no choice but to stay open – or close for good.

“We’re still waiting for some sort of help. You know our bills aren’t 25%, our payroll is in 25%, our loans are due. Our bank really couldn’t care less. So I don’t know what they expect from us.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Seven Sirens went against the state grain… Serulneck says they still follow all CDC guidelines, and there haven’t been any repercussions yet.

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