Level playing field?

When the new COVID-19 restrictions went into effect last Friday night, guests dining indoors in Philly restaurants were asked to take it outside.

Parc on Rittenhouse
Stephen Starr’s Parc on Rittenhouse appears to be faring the pandemic quite well. He was able to retrofit these outdoor tables with a roof over them, and each nook offers near-complete privacy. Submitted photo

Everyone scooped up their stuff and found a spot on the sidewalk. But some observers noticed that a few select restaurants with a little extra cash flow had erected something resembling an indoor-outdoor dining room.

Parc on Rittenhouse
Parc on Rittenhouse – (how it looks today.) Submitted photo

These look like heated, closed-in event tents that differ little from the inside of a restaurant. Some places even had installed PVC sheeting for insulation. So, how is that scenario any different from dining inside? Is there anything safer about these outdoor bubbles (literally, in some cases) than being in a dining room? And how is it fair to the bars and restaurants that don’t have the dough to retrofit their outside spaces? Food for thought.

    • PW Editor Jenny DeHuff

      Jenny DeHuff has been a part of the Philadelphia media landscape for the last 15 years on just about every level of journalism. She started out at The Bulletin, a conservative voice for Philadelphia, then moved through the region as she honed her career as the City Hall reporter at the Daily News, and later as an editor at Philly Voice. As Philadelphia Weekly's new editor-in-chief, DeHuff brings a viewpoint that constantly begs the question of a progressive-leaning Philadelphia. Say hello at jdehuff@philadelphiaweekly.com.