WEST READING, Pa. – What would have been the "first" Second Friday celebration in West Reading in the least restrictive green reopening phase is all for naught, as the only thing occupying outdoor seating is rainwater.
“Unfortunately, when you have days like this and Penn Avenue would be crowded with people up and down, rain's keeping them off, and the people who just want to sit outside, aren't coming out at all,” explained Executive Chef Nathan Rhine at Chatty Monks in West Reading.
But there are some customers getting more and more comfortable with being inside businesses.
"We have felt like everyone disinfects everything,” Joie from Sinking Spring said. “There's lots of social distancing. All the customers and all the staff wear masks or stay six feet apart from each other."
Businesses in West Reading are also making adjustments to the days and hours in which they are open in an effort to find the most opportune times to make money.
“I don't think there's a business right now that isn't making adjustments,” Rhine said. “I mean you look up and down everybody has amended hours this and that. It's a different time right now for the restaurant business. You have to adapt to it right now or you could go under."
A few doors down at Art Plus Gallery, they've had a lot of help from going under, thanks in part to consistent clientele, built up before the pandemic painted a more dire picture.
"Up until the green phase, we were doing appointment only but we were pretty successful with that,” Brian Clark with Art Plus Gallery said. “It all depends on finding the right customer who is very interested and then we just accommodate their time."
West Reading businesses are hoping for more favorable weather as the summer continues.
"I think people just want to get out there and get back to normal as fast as possible,” Joie said.