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Nightlife kicks up in Downtown Harrisburg as COVID-19 restrictions ease on restaurants and bars

Governor Tom Wolf's eased restrictions on restaurant and bars have already caused an uptick in sales in less than one week.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Self-certified restaurants and bars across the commonwealth are now able to bring more ambiance to residents in their communities.

On April 4, Governor Tom Wolf's eased restrictions on these small businesses increasing the capacity to 75%, allowing people to order alcoholic beverages without a meal and bringing back the sale of alcoholic drinks after 11 p.m.

These new guidelines have made the general manager at Bacco Pizzeria and Wine Bar in Downtown Harrisburg see an uptick in sales.

"It's excellent for turn over and it has raised out alcohol sales by a lot because you can just come in," said Katy Moran, "you pass the restaurant you think it's a nice atmosphere, you want to stop in for a wine you can- you don't have to wait for a full meal."

Moran says her staff are ready for the possibility of restrictions being put in place again.

"Well we've mastered the art of takeout everywhere I think and that's a huge thing because at first it was crazy jumping the hoops trying to be able to give cocktails to go," she said, "but now we kind of know what that looks like."

James DeLisio Jr., president of the York County, PA Licensed Beverage and Tavern association says he's worried there might be a back and forth in new restrictions affecting the restaurants.

"It's almost like this is going to be a pattern that we're going to have to be able to adapt to unless we can find another way to conduct our business," DeLisio said.

Moran hopes this does not occur and that the steps to normalcy continue.

"Hopefully they continue to help out the small business and the government steps in and if they do shut us down I think that we'll be okay, I think that we'll make it and downtown we'll be just fine."

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