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Return to Mother’s Day: Restaurants are gearing up for busy weekend

Many moms will be showered with flowers, cards, and other pleasantries as a token of their children’s appreciation on Sunday.

While Mother’s Day is special every year, this time around figures to take on an even greater meaning.

Unlike last year, moms can choose to dine in at any restaurant of their choosing, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Mother’s Day is a big day to eat out, so many will likely take up the option and consider it a redemption of sorts.

After being relegated to takeout orders this time last year, go ahead, moms, and feel free to splurge on that favorite meal.

Restaurants prepare for busy weekend

Located in a resort area, Terra Cottage Cafe and Gifts in Lake Harmony hasn’t been extremely busy, but has had customers come through, according to owner Lori Daniels.

But, Daniels said she doesn’t expect that to be the case this weekend.

“I think it’s going to be busier than usual,” Daniels said. “We’ve been down for over a year, (so) hopefully it will be more like a normal summer than it’s been; everybody’s anxious to get things back to normal.

Daniels said her restaurant offers breakfast and lunch, and also has a full homemade bakery. There is also a boutique with clothing, and all the rooms are filled with gift items.

“It’s a unique setup we have here,” she said. “Sundays are always our busiest day, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our customers on Mother’s Day.”

Business has been steady at the Bowmanstown Diner, according to owner Rich Wenner.

“I think they’re beyond all this virus stuff, some of them a bit prematurely, but I think they’re ready to go as far as that goes,” Wenner said. “Foot traffic is very good in the last two to three weeks.”

Wenner expects things will pick up even more this weekend.

“We’re anticipating a very busy day,” he said. “We’re taking reservations; some of the time slots are already filled.”

Wenner noted that the restaurant has a tent open for the overflow, and added they hope to be able to use it if the weather cooperates.

“We’re anticipating a very big day,” he said. “Most people didn’t get to celebrate with mom last year.”

Although the diner will likely be flowing with people, Wenner asks his customers to do their part.

“We still are doing the mask thing, and wish people would abide by that,” he said. “It’s hard to social distance inside a small diner, but we ask people to wear their mask until they’re seated, and once they get up, we ask that you wear it any time you get up; that’s all we ask. Other than that, we’re looking forward to seeing everybody Sunday.”

The diner isn’t the only restaurant with high hopes for this weekend, and especially on Mother’s Day.

Kayla Ahner, a server at Sapore’s Restaurant in Lehighton, said she’s optimistic business will be booming.

“We have been managing, have been pretty busy,” Ahner said. “We are looking forward to a super-busy weekend.”

Because of that, Ahner said the restaurant recommends customers call to make reservations.

“This is usually our busiest weekend of the year,” she said. “So, we’re hoping to make some money to make up for some of the lost time.”

Lost time due to the pandemic is something Paola Basile, owner of Basile’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Tamaqua, knows all too well.

Despite that, though, Basile said her restaurant has fared rather well.

“A lot of crowds,” Basile said. “People are tired of staying home and are coming out to eat, more than usual.”

As for Mother’s Day, Basile said she isn’t quite certain what to expect.

“I’m not really sure; in previous years we pretty much get our reservations the week of (Mother’s Day); this year we have a lot of reservations, but not tons,” she said. “I think this year will be half takeout, half dine in, but I don’t see that huge demand for a table; I think it’s going to be more of a takeout (because) right now our business is leaning more toward takeout than dine-in.”

Return to full capacity

With Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement earlier this week that capacity restrictions on bars, restaurants and other businesses, as well as indoor and outdoor event gathering limits, will be lifted on Memorial Day, restaurants realize that yet another change is in store.

Daniels said that come Memorial Day, her business will have a covered deck and will also open its outdoor deck as well.

Ahner said that while the younger generation appears to be more eager to be out and about, the restaurant once again has tents with umbrellas outdoors for people of all ages to enjoy.

Looking ahead, Basile said she believes customers are looking forward to the eventual return to full capacity by Memorial Day.

“I think people appreciate the reopening of full capacity, but restaurants, as well as other industries, are experiencing a shortage of employees,” she said. “There’s not enough staff to work the dining room, longer wait times.”

Regardless of which option they choose, Basile said she and her staff are extremely grateful to their customers.

“We appreciate our loyal customers, and more than that, we appreciate our loyal employees that have stuck with us,” she said. “I hope that customers are kind and considerate to the staff, be patient with the restaurant and staff.”

Server Jessica Ahner distributes food to Kay Frey, of Northampton; Arlene Gubich, of Breinigsville; and Pat Reese, of Lehighton, on Friday afternoon at Sapore Restaurant in Lehighton. Sapores, much like many other local restaurants, is expecting a busy weekend as Sunday marks Mother's Day. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS