Local restaurants are struggling from the confusion over dining restrictions

Area restaurants struggling from confusion over dining restrictions

PITTSBURGH — Two weeks after Allegheny County began to offer outdoor dine-in services, many places are still struggling financially.

“I’m getting a handful of people outside, and I’m getting some takeouts, but it’s just not enough to make the bills,” said Chris Mikrut, owner of DeLuca’s in the Strip.

The sigh of relief was short-lived after Allegheny County officials temporarily halted indoor dining.

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Outdoor seating is now proving to be a critical but weak lifeline for restaurants across the county, and it comes with struggles, too.

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Mikrut told Channel 11 they’re at the mercy of Mother Nature and at risk of losing a day of business if it rains.

"I knew if they shut us down, it was going to be difficult because now, we have all these loans and utilities to pay, and it's still not even half of the business," Mikrut said.

In Westmoreland County, business owners see different hardships. Customers don't even know they're open.

It was reported that Gov. Tom Wolf was going to announce a potential new order that would impact restaurants and bars.

He didn’t, but people were anticipating it.

"We're not sure if our doors should be opened in the morning. Whether someone is going to come at 12:01 in the evening that you're supposed to close the doors," said Anita Capelli, owner of South Greensburg Restaurant.

Capelli told Channel 11 it’s unfair all-around. It’s a struggle to satisfy safety regulations because the rules are constantly changing. The empty restaurant, she said, is proof.

“We had quite a few calls today, ‘Are you open for dining?’ ‘Yes, we’re open for dining,’” Capelli said. “We do social media. We say, ‘Hey, we’re open. Here we are.’ We try to tell everybody, but some people don’t have that way of doing things.”

Allegheny Co. restaurants, customers adjusting to new dining order