PITTSBURGH — Facing no new restrictions from Allegheny County beyond a stern advisory to the general public to avoid going much of anywhere as case counts of Covid-19 keep rising rapidly in the region and everywhere else, John Cibula, owner of the Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant in Franklin Park, wades into a lot of murky challenges to find some basic reasons to expect his long-time restaurant will make it through what looks like the worst of a terrible time.
“If things stay the way they are right now, we’ll definitely be able to make it,” he said of his 41-year-old restaurant for which he said the mortgage is paid off. “We’re not doing too bad.”
The question becomes how big an ‘if” that might be for restaurants in Allegheny County, which at least so far has avoided mandating any further restrictions beyond the state requirement that food service establishments operate at 50% capacity and maintain social distancing, among other basic limits.
To be sure, the ongoing business reality for restaurants, bars and most other small businesses only grows more foreboding after much of a year in which restaurants and bars here and statewide have often been openly feuding with the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf over various restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19, which now only seems to be accelerating.
While Allegheny County didn’t mandate any new restrictions, officials issued a stay-at-home advisory, essentially advising residents against leaving their homes for anything but work, school or essentials.
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