MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio just wrapped up the first weekend for bars and restaurants, under the new state order, to issue “last call” at 10 p.m. Governor Mike DeWine added in that state mandate any alcohol purchased has to be consumed by 11 p.m.
“In 30 years, I thought that non-smoking would have hurt me but that was a speed bump compared to what’s going on now,” said Tony Denny, owner of Down the Pike Pub and Eatery.
Denny has owned the West Carrollton pub for over 30 years. He said on Monday, his customers were not happy but did abide the 10 p.m. last call order after it took affect Friday night. But Denny said his business is taking a big blow.
“They took away 28 hours a week of my business and I think the power drinkers, that’s what I call them, the young kids 25 and up, they come out at 10 at night, normally here from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., especially on the weekends, so does it hurt? Yes,” said Denny.
Denny said this is better than having to shut down completely again, but his staff is feeling the impact.
“My shift change is at 6:30, and they work until 2 a.m.,” said Denny. “Now they’ve got to leave early so we’ve got to work with that so everyone can keep their hours. So far they’re doing the best they can with that, but are they losing money and hours, absolutely.”
Mackenzie Manley at Mack’s Tavern in Centerville said this weekend, every night they lost over half their business.
“All of our business anymore is after 11 when servers get off work and we’ll have them come in and have about 25-30 every night in here playing pool and drinking and that’s gone now,” said Manley. “I’ve got bartenders who aren’t getting shifts anymore because of it, so it’s pretty bad.”
Manley said they’ve had to get creative and sold bags of ice and carryout pizza to increase their cash flow among other ways. She said starting August 15, they’re going to try and make up for the lost hours in the morning.
“Now we’re trying to do breakfast so we’re going to do sloppy diner breakfast food on the weekends,” said Manley. “Come in in your Walmart best pajamas and play pool and darts while you wait for your breakfast and have Bloody Mary’s and mimosas or Jack Daniels if you prefer.”
Both Denny and Manley said they’re technically allowed to stay open until a normal closing time and sell food, but are not allowed to sell alcohol and feel the later closing time would be pointless. Manley said the past weekend, their customers left soon after 10 p.m., so they closed even before 11.