We’re looking at cooler temperatures today, only reaching the 60s, but should be cloud-free.

Recently, we told you about the changes the pandemic leveled upon Philly’s restaurant industry. Today, in the second of a two-part series, we take a look at more changes and the relationship it’s created between restaurants and diners.

And just yesterday, we told you about the conversation around recreational marijuana on both sides of the Delaware. Well, on the Jersey side, recreational weed sales will begin next week – but not in time for 4/20.

Happy Friday, everyone. 💯

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Pandemic-led changes to Philly restaurants, continued

For us diners it’s the stuff we can see that mark the changes. Streeteries. Expanded menu options. Robust social media presence.

But it’s the less obvious changes that are making a lasting impact. For example, some restaurants have started charging service fees in order to offer living wages and benefits to staff.

Meanwhile, Philly chefs are doubling as activists to lobby for more federal aid, and the voices of Philly’s industry professionals are resonating loud and clear.

In Part I, our reporter Jenn Ladd focused on industry workers themselves banding together to change the culture. In her latest, we look at what’s making dining in Philly a whole new experience.

What you should know today

The Garden State just got a whole lot greener

New Jersey has an interesting sense of humor.

Late yesterday, officials of the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced that recreational cannabis sales will commence on April 21, just one day after the annual 4/20 day of weed celebration around the world.

😌 So what happens now? Regulators said they would post the list of locations for recreational sales once existing medical marijuana companies notify the commission of their opening dates.

😌 What do these companies need to do? Right now, seven medical marijuana companies with 13 dispensary locations across the state can expand into recreational sales — after paying an expansion fee and passing final inspections.

Need more of an explanation? Check out our:

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Philadelphia has a rich history, but so do our suburbs. We’re going back to back to the Revolutionary War for the answer to today’s question: Into which Bucks County town did Gen. George Washington famously cross the Delaware River to surprise and capture enemy troops? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. Doylestown

b. New Hope

c. Chalfont

d. Morrisville

What we’re …

📚 Reading: For the fourth year in a row, tuition rates are staying put at all Pennsylvania state-run universities.

💰 Wondering: How the richest man in Pennsylvania pays lower taxes than most Americans.

🎧 Listening: To this report in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims American teens are in a state of “crisis.”

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

This Philly legend once said that the secret to her eternal youth is “the Philly in me.”


Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com. We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Mary Black, “formerly of Drexel Hill,” who correctly guessed QUEEN VILLAGE as Thursday’s answer.

Photo of the day

Thanks as always for reading The Inquirer. My colleague Ashley Hoffman is in your inbox Sunday and I’ll catch you all Monday to get your week started. ✌️