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Many businesses open in downtown New Hope despite governor’s request to close

Stella in New Hope was among the restaurants remaining open on Sunday.

The streets of downtown New Hope grew more crowded as the day wore on Sunday, with many shops and restaurants open for business, despite a request by state officials to shut down.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Saturday extended “aggressive mitigation” to Bucks County, asking non-essential retail businesses and other public spaces to close for 14 days to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Restaurants were asked to limit their service to take-out and delivery.

Starbucks at 4A E. Bridge St. was open for business on Sunday, but only for take-out customers.

Starbucks in New Hope was open for take-out service only.

Many other restaurants and bars also remained open, but without apparent restrictions, including Havana, Fran’s Pub, GreenHouse, Spatola’s, the Mansion Inn, Los Catrines, Stella, Dunkin’ Donuts, Salt House, DiNapoli’s, Dubliner on the Delaware and Russo’s Pizza.

Among the retail shops open for business Sunday were Mystikal Tymes, Vaping Me Crazy, Smooth Roots, Suzy Hot Sauce, Country Fair Chocolates, House of India, Three Cranes Gallery, God Save the Qweens, Why Hello, Sunbeam General Store, and Phantasm Comics.

South Main Street in New Hope

Ferry Market also remained open for business.

Below is a random offering of Facebook posts explaining the rationales behind some of the businesses’ decisions:

Bucks County Playhouse:  “In full consideration of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s recommendation to limit public gatherings, Bucks County Playhouse is postponing all performances of the world premiere musical ‘Other World.’ Rescheduled dates will be announced soon.”

Havana: “The health and safety of our amazing patrons and staff is our #1 priority. We want you all to know that we’re taking every step possible to ensure your safety in light of recent events surrounding COVID-19. At this time, we’re still OPEN and operating as usual! We’re closely monitoring the situation and are heading the advice of CDC, WHO and local, regional & state officials.”

The Landing Restaurant: “We are regrettably closing shop for the next two weeks. Please check back with us often as we’re eager to reopen. In the meantime stay safe and we’ll see you soon.”

Melson’s will be here for your automotive needs as we get thru these next few weeks. Our key drop is outside of our entrance door. We will wipe down surfaces in your car before pick up.”

“At Marsha Brown Restaurant nothing matters more than the safety and health of our team members, guests, and communities. Starting Sunday 3-15-2020, and upon the direction of our government officials, we will be closing Marsha Brown Restaurant until we are given the green light to re-open. Our family can not wait to welcome ya’ll back.”

Sign on the door of Karla’s in New Hope

John & Peter’s: “In light of the recent recommendations from Harrisburg we have decided to remain open for normal business hours. Our staff are following the strictest of guidelines to ensure cleanliness. While we acknowledge that this is a time where all should exercise caution, we have an obligation to our staff and community to be open. We kindly ask that if you are feeling unwell that you stay home. We will of course, continually monitor this situation and are stocking up to the best of our ability so that we may provide the best service possible. Above everything we want to be sure that you know that we love you all and hope that we can overcome these trying times calmly, rationally and peacefully.”

Le Chateau Exotique: “Because of the request from the state, we would like to remind everyone that we will be closed starting today 3/15/2020, and will be until it is decided safe to reopen. Though we are sad to be closed our first priority is always the health and well being of our customers and staff.”


About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • “Ignore the hysteria?” That’s not logical at all. This isn’t a conspiracy – it is a virus that has two local emergency room doctors (PA nd NJ) in critical condition despite taking all medical precautions. Mr. Spock needs to start looking at real news sources and listening to medical experts.

    I’m sympathetic to local workers who don’t get paid when there is an emergency closure – how about helping them out?

  • Had a great day visiting New Hope today and patronizing several local businesses. Keep using your sensible procedures for cleanliness and ignore the hysteria. Well done.

  • John & Peter’s. Typical irresponsibility of this establishment. Some years ago they let a colleague, very drunk, walk back to Lambertville without escort and she was found dead in the canal.

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