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Ohio restaurants open for business with protocol changes for customer safety

Posted at 10:08 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 23:18:08-04

CINCINNATI — Restaurants in Ohio are welcoming back in-person diners with new protocols to follow as inside seating and eating reopened on Thursday.

A full parking lot is a sight the owners of Dead Low Brewing haven’t seen for more than two months. Inside, they celebrated their reopening Thursday with a toilet paper ribbon cutting, and customers can expect some new changes.

“They see the sanitizer bottles everywhere,” Dead Low Brewing Company co-founder John Ganim said. “They see the signage.””

Thursday night is all about showing customers the new normal.

“We’re blessed with a tremendous amount of space,” Dead Low Brewing Company co-founder Paul Ganim said. “All our tables follow every guideline for social distancing.”

John knows what he’s doing -- in his day job, he’s a doctor.

“Able to implement a lot of the sanitation and contact precautions that I’m intimately familiar with every day,” John said. “In the emergency department. I’ve been living it for two months.”

Every point of contact is meticulously cleaned, from the menus, to the bar, to the glasses.

“Everything they touch, they know has been sanitized," he said. “We didn’t want it to be behind closed doors. We want it out in the open so everyone can see it. We want you to see that we’re doing it, and you know that we’re doing it."

Just down the road, at The Turf Club, owner Tom Kunkemoeller was nervous and unsure of what to expect.

“It’s not a big place,” Kunkemoeller said. “To have six feet of separation is a little difficult.”

He said he’s had to make big changes to make things work with the new regulations.

“Lost a table over here,” Kunkemoeller said. “Lost all the bar seating. Lost a table over there.”

They’re using salt and pepper packets instead of shakers and one-use plates.

“Everyone has a different level of comfort,” he said. “Some aren’t ready to go out yet. I’d certainly say we’re doing what we can to do our part.”

The business owners said they just want a chance.

“Come out and enjoy time with family and friends. You can be socially distanced and still be outside.”

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