Councilmember Allan Domb leads call to action to preserve cocktails to-go and alcohol sales in outdoor dining spaces
PHILADELPHIA – As part of ongoing efforts to help the hospitality sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, Philadelphia City Councilmembers called on Governor Tom Wolf and several state legislative leaders to immediately pass legislation to support outdoor dining and expanded alcohol sales before more damage is done to Philadelphia restaurants’ bottom lines.
With restrictions safely lifted and normal life beginning to resume, legislative action is now needed to preserve expanded outdoor dining alcohol sales and to-go cocktail sales. The Senate’s amended version of House Bill 1154 to include “ready-to-drink” cocktail sales created market competition issues with state-run wine and spirit distribution locations which should not be debated as part of this bill, according to the letter Philadelphia Councilmembers sent to leaders in Harrisburg.
“We cannot afford to sacrifice restaurants for politics right now – our restaurants deserve better,” said Councilmember Allan Domb (At Large). “I hope the PA Assembly can find a workable solution in the next few days and choose to support our restaurant industry at a time when they need us most.”
Councilmember Domb continued, “Philadelphia’s financial contributions to the Commonwealth are important to protect, and our hospitality industry is a key player in that revenue generation, but they need your support now more than ever.”
Without the required legislation, there is a great concern that restaurants will not be able to make it through this summer and experience a post-pandemic recovery. The options provide restaurants with the tools that boost much-needed sales to make up for the losses felt from the pandemic restrictions.
“We need all of our government leaders to work together for the survival of our restaurants and bars in the aftermath of this pandemic,” said Councilmember Mark Squilla.
“Although we know that many restrictions have lifted and a certain level of comfort has returned for those who have been vaccinated and wish to venture out, we also know that COVID-19 is not gone and that many uncertainties still remain, especially for our restauranteurs and hospitality workers who have struggled to stay afloat during this pandemic,” said Councilmember Derek Green (At Large). “I stand with them and encourage them to speak out as they continue to reestablish themselves during this economic recovery.”
The councilmembers’ letter was addressed to Gov. Wolf along with Leaders of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, including Sen. Jake Corman (President Pro Tempore), Rep. Bryan Cutler (Speaker of the House), Sen. Kim Ward (Majority Leader), Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (Majority Leader), and Rep. Joanna McClinton (Minority Leader).
Read the letter:
Photo: Stephanie Ramones for Visit Philadelphia