PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Protesters lined Grant Street on Thursday chanting “Let Us Work.”

“So many bars and restaurants didn’t make it through the first shutdown, how many do they think are going to make it through the second?” said Marcia Mcelhaney who owns MJ’s Steel City in Imperial.

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Mcelhaney joined other food industry service workers to demand change as a united front.

“You get us going again and next thing you know you are costing people jobs, costing businesses their business and their livelihood,” said Mason Gordon who is the General Manager at Riley’s Pour House in Carnegie.

Gordon believes Allegheny County officials and the Health Department made the decision to stop the sale of alcohol too fast, without getting input from those behind the bar.


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“If you are going to regulate it then regulate it. You know what I mean put a time limit on it, a curfew on it or a limit on how many drinks. You have to put the liability on the bars. If we aren’t doing the right thing then fine us, but don’t just strip it of us completely,” Gordon said.

“I understand they think people lingering is causing the virus to spread and if that’s the case stop liquor sales after 10 p.m., let people have a beer or wine with dinner. It’s not fair,” Mcelhaney said.

The protest happening just as the county broke records with 233 new coronavirus cases in one day. Yet the protestors said they still think they would be able to operate safely.

“I understand the whole health aspect because I had coronavirus and I understand everything about it, but I need to make a living,” said David Regan who owned the Harp & Fiddle.

Right before the protest kicked off, a handful of business owners from the Pennsylvania Lodging & Restaurant Association met with county officials to discuss the alcohol ban.

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Neither the county nor the owners have provided any details on that meeting.