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'It's The Unknown': Restaurants Working To Figure Out How They Will Attract Dine-In Customers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Before the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants found themselves going through a renaissance. Now, many are working to figure out how they will attract dine-in customers once that becomes allowed again in our area.

There's been plenty of wood dust in the air inside the old Llama Tooth restaurant in Spring Garden recently.

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Avram Hornik, the new owner, exclusively told Eyewitness News he's transforming the space into an outside fish restaurant.

"It's a seasonal restaurant," Hornik said.

Hornik gave Eyewitness News a sneak peak. There is already a large, custom-made bar, what will be an outside pizza oven and the new venue is being constructed with social distancing in mind.

"We're hoping my opening a new restaurant, that's primarily outdoors, will be received well," Hornik said.

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The name of the new space is not yet being revealed, but other restaurants are also crossing their fingers the Pennsylvania governor's office will allow them to soon reopen.

"It's the unknown, that's what really hurts us," said Michael Rose with the Manayunk Brewing Company.

The Main Street mainstay says it plans to implement one-time use menus and placing lids on drinks.

"We need to make the public feel safe when we do return, no question about it," Rose said.

The doors are also still closed at Morgan's Pier by the Delaware River. When it can officially reopen, the owner is seeking to expand seating outside on sidewalks.


Experts say other businesses will have to find similar ways to be innovative to stay afloat.

"Restaurants are about real estate and covers and fitting as many people as possible. People are not going to be comfortable with that," said Maura Shenker with Temple University's Center for Hospitality Resilience.

Temple University is launching what it calls its Center for Hospitality Resilience, with the goal of helping businesses reopen and offering recommendations that are in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

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