Toledo bars, restaurants with patios gearing up to serve customers by May 15th

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 8:56 PM EDT
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From UpTown to the Marina District, places with patios in Toledo are preparing to get going.

"I don't know whether the people coming into eat are more eager or I am," Old Bag of Nails general manager Donald Goodwin said.

The new restaurant's opening day of March 15 was shuttered by Ohio's stay-at-home order. Since then, workers have only fulfilled take-out orders. When bars and restaurants with patios get the green light to reopen May 15, workers say they'll be ready for customers on the riverfront patio.

"The tables [will be] six feet apart," Goodwin said. "So we'll follow all the guidelines on that part of it."

Across the Maumee River on Adams Street, the crew at The Attic and Mano's Greek Restaurant are also gearing up.

"It's good news — we're approaching it very seriously," general manager Amelia Jarret said.

Jarret says her state-mandated floor plan is ready, which includes socially distanced seating, limited tables and one-way entry to the bar.

"We're really thinking it through, very hard about how it's going to look," Jarret said.

Like many bars and restaurants in UpTown, the spot is also located in a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area or DORA. While it's closed for now, leaders in Gov. DeWine's office say DORAs can technically reopen when bars and restaurants do, but under the guidance of local health departments.

As talks continue on how to make it happen in UpTown, Jarret says safely restoring the DORA gives people a chance to get out and space out.

"People can just come in for a moment and get their drink and then they go and they're outside," Jarret said.

For now the focus is on patios and whether off the street or on the water, workers are ready to get back to it.

"If anybody wants to eat on the patio, we'd be more than happy to [accommodate]," Goodwin said.

Toledo-Lucas County Health Department leaders said they're not against the idea of reopening the county's three DORAs, but say that further discussions are needed. An official announcement is expected next week.