LOVELAND, Ohio — Restaurants in Historic Downtown Loveland have experienced their share of woes over the past few years.
A massive 2017 fire gutted three buildings on West Loveland Avenue, forcing the businesses inside to spend years rebuilding. Now, restaurants that fought hard to reopen are facing a new pair of setbacks: The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and state safety restrictions on sit-down dining.
"I think the governor did right acting quickly, to do what he did," said Ralph Dunnigan, co-owner of the Paxton's Grill and Ramsey's Trailside. "I'm just glad that we can still serve carryout food to some of our great customers."
So is Kevin Malone, the general manager of Bishop's Quarter.
"It's definitely been a challenge," he said. "We've got to get creative with what we're doing."
At his restaurant, that's meant tailoring the menu for carryout and meeting the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
"We're doing a fish fry and a fried fish dinner that we haven't done for the Lent season," Malone said.
Bishop's Quarter has also added more sandwiches to its menu while paring back its full dinner menu.
At Ramsey's and Paxton's Grill, adaptations include staff wearing latex gloves and masks while handling takeout orders along the Little Miami trail.
"It's definitely beyond my realm," Dunnigan said of both restaurants' current situation. "It beats the fire we had a couple of years ago."
Malone said he sees the same silver lining now as he did in 2017.
"The local community just embraced this whole block," he said. "I think it will be better for us and the community once we open back up again fully."