'It's about caring for other people': Patrons find new normal ahead of Cincinnati mask ordinance

Masks required in public starting July 9
urban artifact.jpg
Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 23:13:54-04

CINCINNATI — Adele Sakler, who was raised in Anderson Township and now lives in California, sipped a brew from Urban Artifact in Northside on Friday.

She said she wants to support businesses doing “the right thing,” and that means more hand sanitizer, more masks and more social distancing.

“They’re very careful. I appreciate that," Sakler said. "They’re looking out for the safety of the customers. They care, and their brand is on the line."

Co-owner Scotty Hunter said he expected “more blowback” for making changes at the Northside brewery, now operating at 33% capacity.

“This is day two of it. Everyone is very accommodating, very understanding,” he said.

From the moment you walk in the door of the church-turned-taproom-and-brewery, you’ll notice masks, sanitizer and more outdoor seating.

“Adjusted our operations significantly so we can provide the safest environment possible for our employees and any patrons coming in,” Hunter said.

It's part of a new normal patrons can come to expect, which starting Thursday will include wearing a mask in public spaces. City Council approved the ordinance requiring people cover their faces on Friday.

Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore made it very clear they aren’t wanting to police. Moore said this isn’t about collecting money -- it’s about providing an opportunity to be safe.

Instead, sanitarians, who typically go to restaurants and other facilities for inspections, will be checking for compliance.

If the sanitarians are dispatched to a certain location, Moore said they will offer to provide masks. As a last resort, they will hand out a $25 fine.

FAQ: What you need to know about Cincinnati's new mask ordinance

Sakler gives “kudos” to the city on the ordinance. Back in California, she said she wears a mask in public to comply with the statewide order.

“It’s not enforced. They’re giving each business the discretion to require it or not. To me, that’s an empty gesture. If we were countrywide wearing masks, we’d bring the curve down," she said.

Sakler also saves some kudos for the brewery for requiring masks.

“I love that the brewery is having people wear masks. I love seeing all the employees wear masks. I love that. They have good beer,” Sakler said.

After all — it’s about making sure customers like her come back for round two.

“It’s not hard. It’s not about taking your rights away. I’m sorry. It’s about caring for other people," she said.