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Southwestern Pa. Restaurant And Tavern Association Wants Coronavirus Restrictions Loosened

BETHEL PARK (KDKA) -- More than 100 bar and restaurant owners in Southwestern Pennsylvania came together for a rally in Bethel Park today.

The crowd gathered in the parking lot of Al's Café.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Restaurant and Tavern Association says they want Gov. Tom Wolf to ease the restrictions on their businesses so they can survive.

"I have no more employees because they had to go find other work and all the food went bad when they turned us on and shut us back off," Dorothy Decker, the owner of Lemon Tree, said.

"We don't have a mortgage, but my people have got to live, and we need back open," Kevin DuMont, of the Rochester Inn, said.

Current restrictions allow for 25% capacity inside restaurants and bars, and those wishing to purchase alcohol must order food as well. The group wants those restrictions lifted, and they want to open at 100% capacity, with six feet of social distancing.

"I want to open up 100%," Rod Ambrogi who owns Al's Café, said. "I'll keep the six-feet of distancing, we'll still be limited. The common-sense restrictions, it makes sense such as the Lowe's and the Walmarts, Giant Eagles, on and on. We can do that. We can safely serve our customers and keep our help here safe and open up and try to make a living. I think after a week, everybody's going to be pretty much at the bottom of the bucket and everyone is going to make a decision on their own and find out what we're going to do."

Some say the restrictions are political.

"I do think it's political. They're destroying this country. I have three grandkids who are working their way through college in restaurants," said Donna Frizzell.

Ambrogi, the head of the association and the group's supporters say they just want the governor to hear their concerns.

"It's not a protest. They're not demanding. They just want to have a seat with the governor so the governor can hear what's going on," Brian Schill, of the Peters Township Chamber of Commerce, said.

Ambrogi says they will be sending a letter to Gov. Wolf, and they hope to get a response from him within one week.

It notes the industry has been singled out because of the actions of a few bad actors.


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