Allegheny Co. Restaurant Owners Getting Creative To Offer Outdoor Dining Under New Health Department Order

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — Restaurants in Allegheny County are preparing for more relaxed dining restrictions, which went into effect Friday at 12:01 a.m.

The new restrictions, from the Allegheny County Health Department, allow restaurants to offer outdoor dining. Indoor dining is still prohibited.


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Customers must be seated at a table and may have up to three alcoholic drinks each.


All dining service must stop at 11 p.m., and takeout food and alcohol is still allowed.


The county is also still restricting the size of gatherings. Gatherings indoors cannot exceed 25 people, while gatherings outdoors cannot exceed 50 people.


The newest order replaces the order from a week ago that mandated all Allegheny County restaurants, once again, serve takeout only.


The Saloon of Mt. Lebanon has remained open through the week, offering takeout food and alcohol.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)


The restaurant sits on Washington Road with only a small sidewalk out front.


Vice President Keith Sheppard is grateful for the large rooftop patio that they plan to open again Friday.


“I probably, maybe, could squeeze four tables on the sidewalk. And up (on the patio), I have probably triple that,” he said.


With Allegheny County announcing the newest restrictions late Wednesday afternoon, restaurant owners had less than two full days to prepare.


“It’s mostly a staffing issue, right now,” said Sheppard. “Just trying to get people to fill the shifts that are needed in 24 hours time.”


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David Ondik, co-owner of The Yard, says the past few months have been all about adapting.


“You get the info, you go back, you create a gameplan, you adapt, make the changes and then you execute,” he said. “That’s really all we’re doing right now.”


Ondik and his team have worked to create outdoor eating spaces at each of The Yard’s four locations in and around Pittsburgh.


At The Galleria of Mt. Lebanon, The Yard has created an outdoor eating space with tents and picnic tables.


“If we get a good turn out, I think we’ll be able to get 50 people out here, which is nice,” Ondik said.