Ohioans can now dine in, but some restaurants will stay carryout only

Posted at 6:48 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 13:13:32-04

CINCINNATI — The next time you think about grabbing some food from a restaurant in Ohio, you don't have to grab-and-go.

Ohio restaurants are now allowed to have customers dine in after Governor Mike DeWine started scaling back stay-at-home orders in early May.

Restaurants and bars that reopen must space tables six feet apart or separate them with a physical barrier, working group head Treva Weaver said. Patrons waiting to be seated will wait in their cars or in socially distanced queues. No parties of over 10 people will be accepted, and empty “congregate spaces” such as dance floors will be repurposed as additional seating space.

These restrictions placed on restaurants by the governor's office are why some restaurants are choosing to not reopen their dining rooms just yet, though.

Mike Burke, the owner of Zip's Cafe, said he plans to continue only allowing carryout orders for right now. He said the main reason is because opening the dining room and only allowing a fraction of the customers in at a time doesn't make business sense.

"Our price on beef has gone up 75%," Burke said. "There wouldn't be enough volume to make that money... This is a family friendly restaurant that happens to have a bar. I want those families to still be able to get a cheeseburger for less than anywhere else in town."

Burke said there is no timetable yet to when they will reopen their dining room. For now, customers can place carryout orders with Zip's Cafe online here.