CINCINNATI — The timing’s not quite ideal, Sugar n’ Spice owner Adam Mayerson admits, but he still smiles when he looks at the diner’s new Over-the-Rhine location.
“It’s pretty surreal for us,” he said. “Four generations of my family have been eating at Sugar n’ Spice, so we kind of pinch ourselves that we are in this position and that we get to carry this on.”
Mayerson held a soft opening for the new Sycamore Street location on Monday. It used to be an old diner car, he said; now, the colorful interior is similar to the original Sugar n’ Spice in Paddock Hills, plus Plexiglas screens between each booth and hand sanitizer on every table.
All staff and patrons are required to wear masks inside the building — except, of course, when they’re eating.
Mayerson acknowledged that adjusting to new COVID-19 prevention measures has been a challenge, but he’s determined to protect his workers and customers.
“It's been a learning experience for all of us,” he said. “Every day, every week, new information comes in and we react to it. All we care about doing is making the right, smart decisions.”
Among them: Sanitizing the famous Sugar n’ Spice rubber ducks, which come in different colors and costumes, so customers can still take them home.
The new Over-the-Rhine diner will hold its grand opening July 11.
In the meantime, fans of breakfast food can visit the original Sugar n’ Spice on Reading Road. Mayerson said a steady stream of supportive customers has helped keep it open despite the pandemic.
“We are really thankful for the loyalty of the guests to keep that place alive,” he said.