Six months into the pandemic, how are restaurants in Wayne doing?

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
WAYNE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Half a year after the pandemic forced Pennsylvania restaurants to shut down, some business owners are still working to keep up with the guidelines. 

Pastry chef Marquessa Gesualdi owns a bakery in Wayne. Despite having signage all over her store, she said six months into the pandemic, some customers are still not following the rules.

"It worries me because people come in here without a mask and I have to say, 'Excuse me, can you please put a mask on?' or, 'Please don't touch everything,'" she shared.

Christine Kondra, owner of Cornerstone Bistro and Artisanal Market, said if someone approaches the restaurant without a mask, they stop them and ask them to put one on.

"And people will say, 'Oh, I'm carrying it in my hand,' versus having it on your face. We didn't get into this career to be policing people," she said.

Great American Pub owner Tom Hemcher showed KYW Newsradio plastic barriers stacked in the back of his nearly empty dining room.

"We're in the process of changing our whole dining room and trying to make that COVID-compatible," he said.

But Hemcher also admitted it's a lot to absorb all information and details about what's safe and what's not.

"There's a lot of confusion," he expressed. "It changes from week to week, day to day."

That's why Steve Byrne with Visit Delco PA said they like to periodically check on business owners.

"I don't think anybody's doing anything maliciously," he said. "It's just maybe they're doing it by accident but when they understand that the rules are what they are, they correct them."

Ben Fileccia, with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, dedicates one day a week to visit restaurants in different cities across the state.

"People that work in these restaurants, they're working around the clock and it's hard to figure out, what do I have to do this week? Because sometimes what I have to do this week is different than what I had to do last week," he said.

But not all owners agree with all the restaurant guidelines, like Christopher Todd, owner of Christopher's A Neighborhood Place Restaurant.

"Some of them, it should be pick and choose, I hate to say it," he said. "Your customers will tell you if they agree with it or not."

Todd has his own specific issues with the regulations. "I don't agree with the bar/dining program," he said. "You should have socially distanced bar dining. There's no difference with that and a bar table next to a bar and sitting down for dinner."

When asked if he was allowing patrons to do that, he simply declined to answer.