Digital Exclusive: Restaurants react to seating capacity increase

Digital Exclusive

PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — In a small step towards normalcy, Monday marked the day restaurants could finally hold 50 percent of their usual seating capacity. But diner owners say this adjustment in seating restrictions doesn’t really make a difference. It’s all about the physical room in an area.

“I don’t think it benefits anyone. If you have the space in your facility then yes. But again the six feet is six feet, and we don’t have any more room to put any more tables to maintain that six feet” Kyle Evans, General Manager at D’s Diner, said.

“We’re a relatively small establishment. We only seat 105 to 110 people when we have every seat filled on our busiest days,” Syd Bauman, Co-Operator of Pittston Diner, said.

Evans says D’s Diner is lucky because they have a large tent set up next to the restaurant for outdoor seating. But as the colder weather sets, he says it will be a challenge.

“We have 42 tables out here. 42 chairs out here. Inside with the 50 percent we only gained six more seats. So once it gets cold and they take 42 seats away…. that’s a lot less business than we’re used to,” Evans said.

He says one solution could be removing the seating capacity restrictions altogether.

“Put everybody at 100 percent and let them figure it out. Let the people find out what they want to do,” Evans said.

Although the future is uncertain for many restaurants, owners are grateful for the support they’ve received during these difficult times.

“We’re fighting a good fight here. But we couldn’t do it without the Pittston area community,” Bauman said.

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