PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a new push by some state lawmakers to ease coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars.
The goal is to help small business owners stay in business. But for some, it’s already too late.READ MORE: 18 Inmates Of Washington County Jail Quarantined Following Positive COVID-19 Tests
The well-known Shiloh Grill in Mt. Washington closed on Tuesday at the end of service. The owners say the cost of doing business during the coronavirus pandemic became too steep.
“It’s such a shame that they’re closing,” said patron William Varney on Tuesday.
Many other people dining outside felt the same about the well-loved restaurant in a premier spot.
“We bring all of our employees here for the holidays to celebrate,” said Rodi Fruzynski.
“I had my wedding shower here, and the kids had their birthday parties here,” said Krystyna Kokowski.READ MORE: Two Firefighters Injured While Battling Duplex Fire In Lawrenceville
A decade of many memories to many people. The owners say it’s most bittersweet for them. But given the state’s coronavirus operating restrictions, they had no option but to close.
“For the last four months, it’s been like poking yourself in the eye with a sharp stick,” said owner Alex Fruzynski. “It’s tough, it’s really tough to shut down anything that you created.”
And with no end in sight, Shiloh Grill said it didn’t make good business sense to renew its lease. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said don’t expect restrictions on restaurants to be lifted yet.
“There are no plans, at this time, to roll that back because we have to wait and see. … Our case counts are still significant,” Levine said during a briefing.
Many state lawmakers are worried that there may not be enough time to wait. They sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf demanding that he lifts the 25 percent indoor capacity restriction on restaurants.
“I think we are at a point now that we have to allow these businesses to operate or they’re going to go out of business,” said Rep. Joe Petrarca.MORE NEWS: 'We Got Banged Bad:' Freedom Hit Hard During Saturday Morning's Storms
The letter, by Democratic state lawmakers, calls on Gov. Wolf to restore the 50 percent capacity guidelines for establishments, adding that the current restrictions are hurting the very businesses that have worked hard to abide by the health and safety guidelines.