Allegheny Co. Restaurants Reopen Again, This Time With Outdoor-Only Dining

Allegheny Co. Restaurants Reopen Again, This Time With Outdoor-Only Dining

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Effective Friday, restaurants and bars in Allegheny County are under new restrictions as county leaders work to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The parking lot of Kelly O’s in the Strip District was empty this morning after an order from the county health department restricts restaurants to outdoor dining only. Kelly O’s and other restaurants can only serve customers if they’re outside.


Before sunrise, employees of Kelly O’s were preparing for what they hoped would be a busy day ahead. Instead of getting tables ready inside, they worked in the parking lot — extending the outdoor seating area.

“We’re trying to do our part. We’re not trying to be irresponsible and get people sick, but we’re still trying to do a business here,” says Bob Tirk, Kelly O’s kitchen manager.

Once the popular breakfast diner opened, the bacon was sizzling inside, while customers tried to stay cool outside.

Many don’t mind eating outdoors.

“As a healthcare professional, I understand. I’ve seen what the virus has done to people and whatever precautions we can do to save lives is important,” says Zach Perpetua from Morningside.


Owner Kelly O says it’s frustrating following the guidelines and keeping up with the changes, but it’s the cost of doing business.

“You can’t run a restaurant like this, this is not feasible,” she says. “I mean, we are, but how long will we be able to sustain this is the question.”

Next door at Harp and Fiddle, owner David Regan is also expanding his outdoor seating. He’s worried the restriction of a three drink maximum and no outdoor smoking will hurt business.

“It’s been slow and we kinda need to get back to normal, and I understand the health aspect of it, and we’ll do what we have to do, according to the rules,” he says.

Other restrictions include making all customers sit at a table and finishing their meals by 11 p.m. Takeout and delivery can still be offered after that.

This order is in effect for the next two weeks.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:

Stay with KDKA for Chris Hoffman’s full report this evening.