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More restaurants are ditching this ‘losing effort’ | Morning Newsletter

And, the latest ban affecting Thanksgiving Eve plans.

Good morning.

First: Alcohol sales at bars and restaurants in Pennsylvania are banned tomorrow during a window when in normal years they’d be through the roof. That comes at a time when many restaurants are already struggling to stay afloat, and some in Philly are giving up on trying — at least for now.

Then: A flourishing city farm where low-priced vegetables grow and help feed Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhood wonders whether it can keep its lease.

Plus: Pennsylvania counties began certifying their election results yesterday, and the presidential transition to Joe Biden is officially underway.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

As we march toward the end of the year, the pandemic’s strain on restaurants is clear. Normally, right now would be a busy and profitable season. While some have adjusted to the changing demands with innovative pivots, pop-ups and takeout concepts, the damage is adding up.

That’s why some restaurants in Philadelphia — where all indoor dining is banned again — are shutting down until 2021. Reporter Michael Klein has an early list and reaction from the ones doing just that. His story also explains why a restaurant isn’t so easy to open and close on a dime.

Pennsylvania establishments took another hit yesterday when the state announced a new round of mandates to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including the order to shut down all alcohol sales at bars and restaurants on Thanksgiving Eve at 5 p.m., drying out what’s known for being one of the busiest drinking nights of the year.

A beloved North Philly farm that’s distributed 100,000 pounds of food since June for the city’s hungry children could be awaiting the end of its bountiful life. The Life Do Grow Farm on North 11th and Dauphin Streets was an illegal dump until a group of Temple students and local activists got to work in 2010. But the lot is owned by the city and the farm’s rent-free lease expires in 15 months. Reporter Alfred Lubrano looks at how it could survive.

Helpful COVID-19 resources

  1. Check the current coronavirus-related restrictions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

  2. What are the first symptoms of the coronavirus and what are the differences between COVID-19, the flu, a common cold, and allergies?

  3. Can you see your friends and family for Thanksgiving? What about if you are planning to host?

  4. When should you replace your cloth face mask?

  5. Track the spread of COVID-19 infections in the region.

  6. Sign up to get free coronavirus news updates in your inbox three times a week.

What you need to know today

  1. Pennsylvania counties rushed yesterday to certify their results from the 2020 election and most eventually did so, despite some isolated push-back and baseless fraud claims from President Donald Trump’s allies.

  2. In Washington, the General Services Administration cleared the way for the start of the transition from President Trump’s administration to President-elect Joe Biden’s. This allows the Biden team to start coordinating with federal agencies ahead of taking over on Jan. 20.

  3. A new study confirms the rarity of COVID-19 in children, but finds that infection is more common, and more severe in children of color.

  4. Local leaders are joining forces to prepare the region as the pandemic speeds up the trend of robots replacing humans in the workplace. This article is the latest installment in our Future of Work series.

  5. Reports of the Philly mob’s demise have been wildly exaggerated, according to a federal grand jury indictment that was just unsealed. The underboss of the organization who served under Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi has just been indicted along with 14 others on charges of racketeering, drug dealing, and extortion.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Teamwork makes the dreamwork, holiday alley edition. Thanks for sharing @gerardrunsphilly.

What did 2020 look like through your lens? Tag your best photos from this year on Instagram with #OurPhilly by Dec. 4 for a chance to be a part of our Year in Pictures. Our photographers will pick their favorites to feature in a community gallery on And as always on the daily front, tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🗺️ Under the Trump administration, hundreds of small changes in immigration rules have had a huge impact. Here’s a look at some of the policies Biden may look to undo.

  2. 🦃 Want to go inside the loud, exhausting turkey’s journey from the farm to your table? Be warned: It’s not for the faint of heart.

  3. ⚖️ A Philly man has served 38 years for robbery of $1,200. Witnesses from the 1982 case say he wasn’t even there.

  4. 💰 Business owners can’t deduct business expenses on their taxes if they paid with money from pandemic-era loans, the IRS has ruled. It might not be 100% final, though.

  5. 🦅 Three years after the Super Bowl 2018 confetti has been swept up from Broad Street, columnist Mike Sielski says the Eagles’ lack of humility is showing.

  6. 🧀 Prove your true love of Philly’s finest cheeses where we can see it: dangling from your Christmas tree.


“In the same way that there are no guarantees if you use barriers and receive regular STI screenings, socially distancing, wearing a mask, and monitoring temperatures are not absolute protections. None of us should use language to suggest we’re invincible to infection. Whether intentionally or not, it suggests that people only get infected because of personal failures.” — sexologist Emily L. Depasse writes about COVID-19 and a familiar internalized shame those with STI’s know all too well.

  1. Charles McElwee, managing editor of the Commonwealth Foundation Republicans, writes that Biden may have won the presidency, but the GOP still won Pennsylvania’s future thanks to the party’s resurgence in down-ballot races.

  2. Jed Dodd, national vice president of the BMWED-Teamsters, writes that taxpayers have every right to expect the first-class health care that politicians get.

What we’re reading

  1. What do Philly’s airport bars and restaurants do when indoor dining is banned? Eater Philadelphia looks at food delivery at the takeoff gate.

  2. The themes and safety measures of the pandemic are popping up in the most comfortable format for kids: playtime. Experts say it gives them a sense of security.

  3. The Philadelphia Tribune convened a panel of thought leaders to answer the question Martin Luther King Jr. once asked in his final book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Your Daily Dose of | Activity

Instead of letting staying at home drive you up the wall, have you tried parkour up your wall? Banish stir craziness season by making it back-to-school season. Whatever you’re into, these are the best Philly group classes online right now, from beer making to ballet.