PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Those in the restaurant industry feel bullied by the city and are upset that the city wouldn’t work on a compromise to keep their indoor dining rooms open. Many restaurant workers believe that they will be singled out with no plan to put food on their table.
A local lawyer representing a group of restaurants spoke to Eyewitness News Friday night and explained why he believes they have a chance to win in court.
“It is our position that you should have a body of evidence or scientific evidence by now to determine or show us why you are making certain decisions,” said Brian Fritz, managing partner of Fritz and Bianculli.
A federal lawsuit was filed against Lockdowns on Thursday afternoon on behalf of the Philadelphia Restaurant Owners Group. The group believes that the closure of indoor restaurants has a potential impact on their constitutional rights.
“Why are there no public hearings? How is it that there is no public contribution? “Said Fritz. “How is it that there is no elected official input to develop a plan, talk about, see, evaluate whether there are less restrictive means that could or might not be put in place?”
A number of new restrictions went into effect in Philadelphia on Friday. Eating indoors is prohibited, and restaurants serving outdoor dining must reduce table size to four people from the same household.
People in the hospitality industry say it’s just another way to harass restaurants.
“Research shows indoor dining wasn’t responsible for the surge in cases, so it almost seems like bullying restaurants are taking it away,” said Wes Gunter, a server at the Hygge Bar in Fairmount.
Gunter has been working in the Hygge bar for five years. He says right now everyone is leaning on each other and hoping that an end is in sight.
“We’re all still pretty close and even closer because we’re all together and still fighting,” said Gunter.
These restrictions will remain in place until January 1, and officials will reevaluate whether an extension is necessary.
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