Philadelphia will join other Pennsylvania counties in the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus shutdown plan effective June 5, as the state eases restrictions. It’s still not entirely certain that Philadelphia will allow outdoor dining on that date. Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday that his administration is still reviewing how to safely permit outdoor dining.
Why wait? asked restaurateur Avram Hornik. Effective immediately, you can book outdoor seating at Harper’s Garden in Rittenhouse and Morgan’s Pier on the Delaware River, starting on June 5.
The restaurants are believed to be the first to offer reservations in this pandemic era. They never allowed outdoor reservations in the past.
Both venues have changed their layouts to foster social distancing and safety.
Harper’s Garden, on 18th Street south of Market, has expanded south on its courtyard. Though it has twice the space, its 80 outdoor seats have been cut to 35.
Morgan’s Pier, just north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, has shrunk from 500 seats to 200. Morgan’s also is open now for beer and cocktails for takeout, and for food for takeout and delivery.
Both restaurants are looking to increase seating substantially by adding sidewalk dining.
Wolf’s office worked with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association on guidance to allow for the safe reopening of restaurants for outdoor dining in yellow-phase counties and more broadly in green-phase counties.