DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Friday, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission board voted 3-0 to pass an emergency rule ending the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. at bars and restaurants. According to the rule, last call for drinks will be at 10 p.m. and drinks must be finished by 11 p.m. The establishments do not have to close, they can continue to serve food for the remainder of the time that they are open.
The order, signed by Governor DeWine, takes effect starting Friday night. Governor DeWine has announced that to-go drinks can continue to be offered, and has also increased the limit to three drinks.
This is another hit for bars and restaurants that have spent the majority of the pandemic trying to stay afloat.
“The full shutdown essentially destroyed our bar sales,” said Brian Johnson who covers marketing for Yellow Cab Tavern.
Already, one downtown Dayton nightclub has decided to temporarily close due to the order. Newcom’s Tavern announced through Facebook that they would be temporarily closed and thanked the community for its support.
Johnson says Yellow Cab Tavern was beginning to see a slight increase in sales after the reopening, but now the latest blow to the industry comes from the Liquor Control Commission Board.
“While it’s disappointing, we also don’t want to be a part of the problem,” said Johnson. “We feel like it would have been better if they had individually gone to the problematic bars and enforced the rules a little better rather than a big blanket thing, but with that being said, it’s better than the alternative of just being shut down again.”
For establishments that serve both food and alchohol the situation is not as dire, but one restaurant is adapting its menu to keep up their sales.
“We are making some adjustments adding some late night deals like order a beer at 9:30 p.m., you’ll get twice the beer…little things like that to capitalize on those two hours that we are going to miss,” explained Anthony Good, general manager of the Dublin Pub.
Customers say while the rule is inconvenient, it won’t stop them from visiting their favorite spot.
“It caught me off guard but at the same time, I get they have to do what they have to do to keep everything safe,” said Mo Zahedi who was visiting the Dublin Pub on Friday. “I think it’s important to still get out and support all the small businesses and the local businesses. They’ve been hit the hardest in this time.”
Most people agreed that slowing the spread of the virus is important so we can all move towards a post covid world sooner than later
“I understand where they’re coming from with it in all honesty i’m with anything we have to do to get through,” said Good.