WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio football fans are looking forward to big games Sunday and Monday night, but Miami Valley sports bars are again bracing for smaller pandemic profits and smaller crowds as the state’s COVID-19 curfew cuts into the games.
Down The Pike Bar in West Carrollton owner Tony Denny said big football games make up a large portion of his bar’s business.
“It definitely brings a lot of revenue, extra revenue, into your establishment, for sure, especially when you have local teams,” Denny said.
Now because of the state’s 10 p.m. COVID-19 curfew, Denny said they’re not getting the same number of game day customers they once did.
Some customers said going to sports bars to watch the game isn’t worth it since they can’t stay the entire time.
“Why come in here for half a game? I mean I’m going to have to leave at halftime so there’s where the problem begins,” customer Gary Mendenhall said. “People don’t want to come into a bar and watch a game and have to leave at halftime.”
“Let’s say you normally have 40, 60, 70 people in your place depending on how big it is, now you have four or six people,” Denny said.
Denny said he hopes the Browns vs. Steelers playoff game and Ohio State National Championship will bring in a little more business than they’ve seen so far. He does expect to see more carryout orders, but that isn’t enough.
“There’s not much markup on the food, you’re making money on the drinks,” Denny said. “I just hope people come in here, all those restaurants and bars, you know, and have some fun like it used to be.”
A Columbus bar petitioned Gov. Mike DeWine to give an exemption to the curfew for Sunday and Monday.
DeWine turned down the petition during a press conference last week, citing the state’s high COVID-19 numbers.