Lehigh Valley cities temporarily offering businesses more outdoor dining space

Written by on June 4, 2020

Lehigh Valley cities temporarily offering businesses more outdoor dining space

By Staci Inez

June 4, 2020

Lehigh Valley counties are set to move to the yellow phase of reopening on Friday. This means childcare can resume, in-person college classes can pick back up and people can go shopping again at retail stores. And as WLVR’s Staci Inez reports, restaurants can reopen too, but only for: dining al fresco.

Kevin and Rich Ryan opened Bru Daddy’s Brewing Company in downtown Allentown in November. They say they’ve been looking forward to this day since they had to switch their  artisan pizza and craft beer business to takeout-only back in March.

“It’s really going to be a big help in trying to get us back in business here,” they said. 

But restaurants in counties in the yellow phase, like Lehigh, are only allowed to serve customers outside, not indoors. So the city of Allentown created permits for: Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas. Leonard Lightner, is the city’s director of community economic and development.

“It gives them opportunities to set up tables on the sidewalk… but we’ve taken it one step further as well… we’re going to open up some of our areas and close the streets down to give our restaurants more floor space to put tables,” said  Lightner. 

Downtown streets like Hamilton and 7th will be closed off Friday evenings and all day on Saturday. 

Lightner says he understands how hard businesses are struggling in this pandemic… so he was happy to help. 

“They’re barely making it. Some were concerned that they’re going to be closing down if this continues even a week or two longer, so understanding the importance that our small businesses and restaurants are the lifeblood of the city,” said Lightner.

Northampton County is also moving into the yellow phase this weekend and Bethlehem and Easton are taking similar measures to help restaurants have more space for business.


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