Downtown Pittsburgh restaurants hope new state liquor law will help businesses – WPXI


PITTSBURGH – Downtown restaurants are really looking forward to the holidays to help businesses, but some owners are worried they might not be maximizing this time of year because their staff numbers are so slim.

“We are struggling, we have two floors so you need a lot of bartenders for two big bars and for the holidays you have a lot of holiday parties and we just don’t have enough staff to be able to handle that “said Len Semplice, owner of Redbeard’s Sports Bar and Grille.

Redbeard’s Sports Bar and Grille on Sixth Street typically employs around 40 staff, but right now they have around half of them during the holiday season.

Next door, at Gaucho, they operate with fewer workers than normal.

“For us in particular, the staff probably at 35% of the workforce right now, we certainly need to increase significantly. Unfortunately, we can’t open for lunch, ”said Anthony Falcon, owner of Gaucho.

When it comes to food and supplies, both owners have said they are at the mercy of what is available which means they pay a lot more.

This is why some families who now dine out may see some menu items cost more than usual.

“The steak is through the roof. The prices are just insane, ”Falcon said. “We transferred some of these costs. We keep it as reasonable as possible and try to keep the quality. “

Channel 11 has learned that a new bill signed by Governor Tom Wolf on Friday may help some restaurants. The bill allows restaurants to expand the area in which they are allowed to serve alcohol in a seating area within a thousand feet of their location.

“I think it helps us tremendously like in the summer and even now it gives us ten more tables that we don’t have inside,” Semplice said.

Redbeards has added outdoor seating during the pandemic and plans to keep them during the colder months.

“For the winter, we are going to set up a small cabin there. We’re going to call it a mountain watering hole to sell hot drinks during the winter, ”Semplice said.

The bill also gives the PLCB the ability to issue eligible licensees with unlimited off-premises dining permits and an additional year of custody, and allows a licensee who closes permanently to sell his alcohol and wine at another license holder.

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