Teddy Sourias — whose Craft Concepts Group runs about a half-dozen bars and restaurants in the heart of Center City, including Tradesman’s, U-Bahn, Blume, and the Tinsel pop-up — endured a rash of broken windows over the winter.
Each time, the glass replacement cost him $1,500 plus the liquor that was stolen.
Now, with his businesses closed for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus restrictions, he had them all boarded up Saturday.
“I worry about desperate people taking desperate measures,” he said. “People are out of work right now. The longer the shutdown lasts and there is no income, who knows what could happen.”
It’s a better-safe-than-sorry reaction. “We haven’t had anything like this in our lifetime, so we have nothing to compare it to,” he said. “I completely agree with this shutdown and hope everyone complies so we can get this under control and go on with our lives the way we used to.”
The state Liquor Control Board also went the plywood route, boarding up its store at 11th and Wharton Streets in South Philadelphia (which happens to be across the street from the Third Police District).
Meanwhile in Wilmington, wine merchant Frank Pagliaro of Frank’s Wines related on Facebook that he had rented two trucks to barricade his front doors and office door after close of business.
The twist is that he got a visit from a Delaware liquor-enforcement agent, who told him of a complaint from another liquor-store owner who alleged that Pagliaro was selling black-market liquor out of the trucks. The explanation for the trucks is simple: Pagliaro wanted to install decorative gates, but contractors could not start right away. “So no, I am not loading up these trucks to play ice cream man in your neighborhood,” he wrote. “I am simply protecting my and my staff’s livelihood.”