Businesses scramble in wake of governor's closure of bars and restaurants

Published: Mar. 15, 2020 at 11:29 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Governor Mike DeWine made what he calls a "drastic" move by banning dine-in business at all Ohio bars and restaurants for the foreseeable future.

This went in to effect at 9 p.m. Sunday, leaving lots of businesses scrambling to find a plan to stay afloat.

This is just the latest development from DeWine this week after a slew of other recommendations turned orders, where closures and cancellations seem to be the new normal.

Servers, bartenders, restaurant and bar owners are now living in extremely uncertain times.

"I live, you know, tips to tips and paychecks aren't much. So, it's hard," said Brandie Dye, a local server.

"Scrambling, trying to figure out how we are going to stay alive or above water throughout all of this," said Shalene Shellenbarger, manger/server at PerrysBurgers.

"The bars, I would say is more important than like restaurants because you're sharing a lot of drinks, getting in close quarters with people like dancing and stuff. Sounds super unhygienic," said Rachel Quer, a junior at the University of Toledo.

Now, businesses are working to find a way to keep operations running in some capacity.

The manager at PerrysBurgers said carry-out will be available, but most sales come from dine-in customers.

"This pays the bills and right now I don't know exactly how this is going to work with not having an income," said Shellenbarger.

Sully of The Village Idiot said the bar will continue to offer carry-out pizza, but no delivery service.

"We've been here 22 years. We've been open over 7,000 days in a row. We'll be open tomorrow," said Sully.

Patrons are now feeling unsure of how to unwind during this trying time.

"We eat out more than we eat at home. So, that's going to be hard," said Mitch Quer, a patron at PerrysBurgers Sunday.

"Everyone likes to go out and have a good time, and now it's like, Oh, we got to stay home and cook, or go to McDonald's," said Allison Stamper, a regular at Cinco De Mayo.

Cinco De Mayo is considering switching servers to delivery drivers, so everyone can keep their jobs. An emotional, concerning situation for long-time servers like Alex Gama.

"Got to take care of the family," said Gama.

Making matters worse, there's no timetable on when things will get back to normal.

"It just feels weird. It's a little nerve-racking. My nerves are just wrecked about it. It just sucks, just hopefully this goes by quick," said Dye.

Governor DeWine said he realizes this is a life changing measure for so many people, but he called this situation a matter of life or death. He said these actions must happen now in order to save lives.