(WKBN) – We talked with several bar owners on Thursday and all said they were thrilled that the curfew in Ohio has been lifted.
Now, they’re trying to ramp back up where last call at some places will be just before 2:30 a.m.
A feeling of relief for restaurant and bar owners on Thursday.
“Very happy. I think it was long overdue,” said Joe Rzonsa, Blue Wolf Tavern.
The 11 p.m. curfew for all establishments in Ohio has been lifted.
“Certainly we understand the reason behind it but it was disappointing nonetheless that we had to go so long with limited hours, especially during the holiday season, which is our bread and butter where we do about 60% of our revenue,” Rzonsa said.
At the Blue Wolf Tavern in Boardman, there will be some struggles with the curfew lifting, mainly with staffing.
“It was hard to find people, especially in this industry. People were a little more cautious when it came to service industry jobs because of the nature of the pandemic and being around people and just generally indoors,” Rzonsa said.
In Struthers at Selah Restaurant, there were also staffing adjustments.
“If you don’t have the revenue, if you don’t have the income and the orders and customers, you can’t pay your bills, and one of your bills is payroll,” said Jeff Chann, Selah Restaurant.
So, Thursday’s announcement was like a weight lifting off their shoulders.
“We got emotional. We got all teary-eyed because hey, we get to stay open later,” Chann said.
As restaurants and bars inch closer to a more normal atmosphere.
“The curfew lifting is a clear indication that our community is doing what it needs to do,” Chann said.
Social distancing will still be enforced inside restaurants and the curfew could come back into effect if the numbers spike again.