Gov. Wolf extends last call for Pa. restaurants, bars by an hour

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Indoor dining capacity for restaurants is going up next week to 50%, and as of Thursday, they will now have an extra hour to remain open.

Bars and restaurants have been following a state-mandated 10 p.m. closing time, which some tavern owners say has greatly impacted their sales. Starting next week, alcohol consumption can continue until 11 p.m.

There is no change to the requirement for the temporary sale of cocktails, both for to-go cocktails and takeout from bars, restaurants and hotels that have liquor licenses.

“As we continue to take critical steps to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we also recognize that this pandemic has taken a significant toll on the food services industry, so we must balance public health and economic recovery,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “These orders give restaurants the ability to increase indoor occupancy safely while giving customers confidence when deciding to patronize a restaurant.”

In Philadelphia, indoor dining only resumed recently, on Sept. 8. Restaurants are capped at 25%, and there must be no more than four diners per table. Tables must be arranged so that diners at separated by at least 6 feet or have an impermeable barrier between them.

Restaurant owners outside of Philadelphia are looking forward to the increased capacity in indoor seating, as the winter weather approaches and outdoor dining will soon become impractical.