WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Monday marks the first full day that Ohio bars and restaurants will be closed, with the exception of carry-out and delivery. Local restaurants and customers are saying all they can do at this point is hope for the best.
The change is going to take a lot of getting used to.
“We’re hoping that we can stay busy to keep open. That’s the big what if,” said Leo Delgarbino, owner of Leo’s Ristorante in Warren.
Eat-in dining makes up most of the sales at Leo’s. They’ll now have to rely on take-out orders and the community to get them through.
Once he got the news on Sunday, Delgarbino had to tell 15 front-of-the-house employees they no longer have a job.
“Everything’s going good, everybody’s working and then the next day you gotta tell people we don’t need you anymore? In 38 years that’s never happened. It’s like wait a minute what are we doing?” Delgarbino said.
Delgarbino has been talking with other primarily dine-in restaurants in the Valley. He says everyone is going through these same issues, just at different addresses.
“The governor has been very forward about making these changes as quickly as possible. He’s been very aggressive about it and I applaud that. We’re here to stay long-term. I want to make sure our customer-base is safe,” said Matthew Campbell, owner of Branch Street Coffee Roasters in Boardman.
Campbell took out most of the chairs in his dining room. He’s expecting a sharp drop in sales but is keeping all of his employees on the books.
“We want to make sure our staff is on payroll for as long as possible. If it does come to the time when we finally get shut down by the government, I want to make sure that they’re able to stay on unemployment as long as possible,” he said.
Mark Rescer got take-out on Monday at Leo’s. He thinks we should take this time to cherish our loved ones.
“Tell them you love them. One thing about the Mahoning Valley is we’re very resilient and we stick together,” he said.
On top of the 15 workers at Leo’s who were laid off, Delgarbino says if business is slow, he’ll have to lay off workers in the kitchen as well.