by WorldTribune Staff, September 1, 2020
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s coronavirus lockdown order includes a ban on indoor dining in the city’s restaurants.
So, while his constituents and the city’s restaurants were relegated to outdoor dining, Kenney slipped out of town and dined — indoors — in Maryland.
Kenney was slammed after a photo posted on Instagram by Philly restaurateur Marc Vetri on Sunday showed the mayor dining at a Chesapeake Bay region restaurant.
Vetri worte: “Hi @phillymayor !!! Glad you’re enjoying indoor dining with no social distancing or mask wearing in Maryland tonight while restaurants here in Philly close, suffer and fight for every nickel just to survive. I guess all your press briefings and your narrative of unsafe indoor dining don’t apply to you. Thank you for clearing it all up for us tonight.”
Indoor dining is set to resume in Philadelphia on Sept. 8, according to Fox 29. Indoor dining has been permitted elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
When indoor dining resumes in Philadelphia next week, restaurants will permitted to serve at 25 percent capacity, with no more than four guests seated at a table. Bar seating will not be allowed and any alcohol served must accompany a meal, PhillyVoice.com reported.
City officials have said that if Philadelphia sees a surge in covid cases, it is possible that restrictions will be put back in place.
Kenney tweeted on Monday: “I know some are upset that I dined indoors at a restaurant in Maryland yesterday.
“I felt the risk was low because the county I visited has had fewer than 800 COVID-19 cases, compared to over 33,000 cases in Philadelphia. Regardless, I understand the frustration.
“Restaurant owners are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. I’m sorry if my decision hurt those who’ve worked to keep their businesses going under difficult circumstances. Looking forward to reopening indoor dining soon and visiting my favorite spots.”
PhillyVoice.com noted that Vetri, who owns popular high-end restaurants including Vetri Cucina and Fiorella, “has become increasingly vocal about policies that restrict indoor dining.”
On Aug. 18, Kenney warned in a tweet that block parties were holding back the city’s re-opening plans.
“It’s been disheartening to see block parties and house parties with too many people in one area and very few masks. Those who attend these parties are endangering themselves, their families, and their communities. And they’re endangering our ability to reopen safely.”
Vetri responded, tweeting: “Stop holding restaurants hostage because idiots have house parties. 84 new cases today no deaths in a city of 1.5 million. Soon you’ll be mayor of city with no one living in it because everyone left. you’ll realize how you and your Farley singlehandedly ruined the city.”
Vetri added: “My chef friend went to dentist to get a filling and cleaning yesterday, almost an hour mouth open, spitting his respiratory fluid all over the dentist shield…Dentist looks at him, laughs and says…now remind me why restaurants can’t open? True story…”