As restaurant dining rooms and bars open, caution reigns

Posted at 10:52 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 23:20:00-04

CINCINNATI — As the indoor portion of bars and restaurants opened doors and tables to patrons Friday, a heavy police presence and facility rules enforcing cautious distancing seemed to help keep crowds spaced and minimal throughout many of Cincinnati's popular areas.

Down at The Banks, bar owners have worked together to help one another solve issues with social distancing and work through the logistic hurdles Governor DeWine's rules pose.

"It's not the typical thing at the Banks," said Will Hodges, regional manager of Tin Roof. "Sanitizer everywhere. Sanitizer stations at the bar to clean up tables, chairs."

Tin Roof has also set up partitions between booths, set tables distanced apart and serviced its HVAC system with a hospital-grade filter. Although the precautions are in place, there are rules to follow. Typically, walking in to Tin Roof, patrons could stand and grab a drink at the bar, but that's not the case anymore.

"We're implementing a host station," said Hodges. "You come in, put your name on a list, or we seat you immediately if we have a table for you."

Tin Roof also looks forward to welcoming live music back to the space on Saturday. Hodges said it's important to him that the bar be able to provide work for local live musicians.

He also said, as the owners of bars like his at The Banks navigate new rules and a new way of operating, that patrons remain patient as establishments learn new best practices and work out new standards and procedures.