Lines form outside local businesses as they re-open for first time in months

PITTSBURGH — Sixteen counties in western and central Pennsylvania, including much of the Pittsburgh area, moved into the green phase Friday. They will join 17 Pennsylvania counties that have already moved into the green phase Friday, May 29.

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It was announced Friday that Beaver County would be the remaining local county to move to the green phase on June 12.

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Restaurant owners reopen, some offering dine-in service in green phase

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on restaurant owners.

It has been a stressful and difficult few months for restaurant owners and workers. They have lost business, laid off employees and must rework how they operate.

Going into the green phase on Friday means a lot of them are reopening for dining. Others are going to slowly ease into it by offering outdoor seating and takeout orders.

At Kelly O’s restaurant in the Strip District, owner Kelly O’Conner and her small staff have been on pins and needles waiting for the green light from Gov. Tom Wolf.

The restaurant is welcoming back customers for a dine-in experience, but the diner will only operate at half occupancy.

The Original Oyster House in Market Square will be celebrating 150 years of business this October.

Its owner, Jen Grippo, says it has quite literally been through it all.

From the pandemic to recent protests over the weekend when its window was damaged, the business is looking to bounce back with Grippo's help.

Despite getting the go-ahead from Wolf, Grippo said she’s going to take a little more time before she offers dine-in seating to customers and let folks get acclimated.

For now, she’s going to continue offering curbside and takeout orders. And in about a week, the restaurant will reassess and plan to welcome back all customers for a sit-down experience both indoors and outdoors soon.

“As a small-business owner, I will do everything in my power to make sure that you are safe. And if you don’t feel comfortable coming down, that’s OK. I understand that,” Grippo said.

Another restaurant in Green Tree was working to place tables 6 feet apart.

You can watch more in the video below:


Local salons, barbershops, nail spas have changes in place as they reopen

This is a huge day for salons, barbershops and nail spas that got the green light to finally reopen for clients.

First thing Friday morning, customers were eager to return to their barber. Several lined up outside a shop in Bloomfield.

They too have to follow the guidelines laid out and implement social distancing.

“They've got the middle seat blocked off. Looks like they’re distancing properly so I’m excited to have a family reunion tomorrow. Wasn’t going to go if I couldn’t get my hair cut,” customer Branden Ryan said.

Another salon, Studio Raw Elite in Ross Township, is back in business after being closed for nearly three months.

Clients will need to sign a waiver acknowledging the salon is doing everything it can to protect against the coronavirus.

It’s certainly something new as part of the reopening plan, and salons everywhere are also developing their own measures to stay safe.

At Studio Raw Elite, everyone will be wearing masks. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to wait in your car. Then you’ll be contacted when it’s your turn to go in.

Inside, all stations are 6 feet apart.

"We have been closed for nearly three months. We have 26 employees that have been down with their jobs. To reopen these doors is a magnificent moment for all of us. We are well aware that the coronavirus has not been cured, and there is still a fear factor out there. We want everyone walking in our doors to feel safe,” owner Dan Burda said.


South Side goes green for reopening

The Chamber of Commerce tied green balloons to businesses that reopened along East Carson Street.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen but now that we are opening, everybody’s really happy,” Eddie Carey said.

Carey is the general manager of Cosmo on Carson. He said it is opening, but social distancing will be a big challenge.

You can watch more in the video below:


Westmoreland County state park working to keep social distancing

One of the big changes you’ll see when you come to Keystone State Park is the water fountains will stay shut off and capacity will be cut in half in the parking lots.

“There were a ton of people here, it was very crowded and we had a hard time finding a spot to picnic,” Melissa Visley said.

Visley said she goes to the park often and returned again as Westmoreland County transitioned into the green phase.

You can watch more in the video below:


Eat’n Park reopened all restaurants for dine-in service

Eat’n Park restaurants has reopened all of its restaurants for dine-in service now that most of the area is in the green phase.

The company moved all of its restaurants to takeout-only service in March and temporarily closed more than 20 locations because of the coronavirus.

There are new safety measures and social distancing in place.

Diners would notice new seating configurations, single-use paper menus, social distancing in waiting areas.

This also includes the Hello Bistro and The Porch restaurants. Eat’n Park restaurants are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.