Business Dry at Philly Restaurants During Papal Visit

Michael Klein and Dylan Purcell, reporting for The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Said Stephen Starr, who owns about a dozen Philadelphia restaurants: “This affected business worse than Hurricane Sandy. The city scared all of our customers away. We have virtually no reservations. This is unnecessary overkill. What should have been a feeling of family and community was turned into a police and military operation.”

The slowdown seems to have affected restaurants at all price points. Business at the three casual Marathon Grills in Center City has been “terrible, especially at 1818 Market St.,” said Cary Borish, whose family owns the restaurants. “We spent a huge amount of timing planning and investing in a lot of food and we wound up donating much of it today. Major bummer.” He cited poor planning on the city’s part.

This weekend was surreal here. It sounds bizarre that restaurants suffered during a weekend when the city had a million or so tourists, but I’m not surprised. It wasn’t a fun or festive atmosphere — it felt like a military occupation.

Monday, 28 September 2015