WILKES-BARRE -- Thousands of people work on Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre, and on a normal day, there are at least a couple dozen people out and about. This week has been a different story.
"Normally, it is more quiet than usual the first week of the year. However, because of the weather outside, it's keeping everyone inside," said Sean Carr, an employee at Rodano's and Franklin's on the Square.
"Everyone's saying how cold it is. The door opens and we kind of run towards the back because it's chilly," Circles on the Square employee Kathy Alaimo said.
Restaurants on the Square are seeing a lull in business this week, and when employees look outside, they know exactly why; the cold outside is keeping many people inside.
"I believe it. I didn't even want to go to work today," Chris Demarco of Moosic said.
Demarco works on the Square, and has been dressing appropriately this week.
"I'm out braving the cold because I need to eat lunch and there's nothing in the office. So I had to walk out and I'm going to Circles to pick up lunch," Demarco said.
Circles on the Square is a lunch spot staple in downtown Wilkes-Barre. It is known for its mac and cheese and sandwiches but another item on the menu is a big seller right now.
"Soups are very popular this week. Sandwiches not so much. I think people are just packing their lunch because who wants to go out in this weather," Alaimo said.
Wednesday is actually forecasted to be the warmest day of the week, but still Public Square at lunchtime was much quieter than usual, and it's only going to get colder as the week goes on.
"I never packed my lunch but tomorrow might be a first," Demarco said.
With record-breaking cold possible by the end of the week, employees at restaurants on the Square think business may only get worse. If you do decide to brave the cold, the spots on the Square will be ready for you.
"We try to put out more cream soups, chili is another big hit because it's just a winter type item," Carr said.