We were talking to some friends from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area recently.

The pain of the COVID-19 pandemic era is still being felt in so many ways.

We asked them for an example. Without hesitation, they said: The Day by Day Brunch in Center City Philadelphia.

This restaurant was owned by Robin Barg. It had operated for almost 41 years at 2101 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA.

Barg told The Philadelphia Inquirer on December 23, 2021, that, “she had given up the fight.”

She was dealing with a significant dispute about back rent due, along with the all too familiar staffing problems that the COVID-19 era created.

In addition to the back rent dilemma, Barg was unable to find staff members to replace her aging team. “My old guys were irreplaceable,” she told The Inquirer.

This left Barg in the unenviable spot of having to sell her catering business and the contents of her restaurant.

It is yet another example of a long-standing business that was able to navigate through multiple recessions and a Great Recession over more than 4 decades … only to succumb to the pandemic.

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COVID-19 continues to hang over people’s heads in so many ways. There is still uncertainty, especially in the restaurant industry.

No doubt you’ve noticed that many restaurants now close on Mondays or Tuesdays, or both Mondays and Tuesdays.

A local, Atlantic County, New Jersey example is the iconic Steve & Cookies by the Bay restaurant in Margate, New Jersey. Owner Cookie recently announced on Facebook that she will close her restaurant on Tuesdays.

Cookie Till via Facebook.
Cookie Till via Facebook.

On August 29, 2022, Till wrote the following:


We have been running with a short staff this summer - especially in the kitchen. This has forced us to make some tough decisions, like cutting back the menu and now closing a day. Going forward we will be closed on Tuesdays.

We very much value the core staff that we do have and are so grateful to them for their hard work, integrity and plain old grit. Together we made it through possibly the busiest summer in our 25 years.

This is the first time we have ever considered closing even a day consistently, but after much consideration, we feel like it now makes sense.

Thank you for your understanding and know that we will continue to keep giving you our all the other six days of the week.


Cookie, the Management Crew, and Staff

These are only a few examples. There are so many more in the Delaware Valley and all over America.

This is the present reality in America, today.

Another example is Alan Angeloni, owner of Angeloni’s II Restaurant & Lounge, which now closes on Monday and Tuesday, after operating 7 days per-week basis for almost 50 years.

The “new normal,” or whatever you want to call it is anything but normal.

However, don’t expect this to end anytime soon. And, watch as more long-time establishments either close forever, or, make necessary adjustments to their operarations in order to survive.

This phenomenon has affected independent-owned and casino restaurants. No one has been immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its direct impact on business and industry.

SOURCE: The Philadelphia Inquirer, regarding Robin Barg & the Day by Day Brunch.

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