Dayton restaurants eye reopening date after holding off during first week

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s now been one week since Ohio restaurants could reopen their indoor dining. However, some restaurants chose to hold off, saying they needed more time to get comfortable with the new guidelines.

On Thursday, Wheat Penny in Dayton said they were holding a soft reopening of their patio that night.

The restaurant’s chef and partner, Elizabeth Valenti, said it was by invitation only.

“If everything goes well, we are considering an opening of the patio for lunch on Saturday, but it won’t be determined until we have two services, tonight and tomorrow night under our belt to make that decision as a staff,” said Valenti. “Both owners and staff, this is a collective decision for all of us.”

Valenti said they have held off because they wanted to have more information and time to properly execute their reopening plan.

During this time, she said they’ve been in close contact with other restaurants to see what has worked, and what hasn’t.

“Talking to other owners, other restaurateurs, reservations work best,” said Valenti. “It’s kind of hard to control people as they’re walking into a restaurant, so initially, we’re going to start with reservation only.”

She said for the time being, Wheat Penny will stick with carryout and eventually patio dining. No timetable is set for indoor to resume.

She added that she appreciates Mayor Nan Whaley holding off on permits for increased outdoor seating until she had more information, but they’re excited about the recently approved pilot program.

“We’re not sure how it will work in our environment but it’s going to allow other businesses to have a little bit more business and making the right decisions, I think it’s going to work well.”

2 NEWS also spoke to the owner of 416 Diner who said his diner’s patio is open but they likely won’t open indoor dining for at least two more weeks.

He said he wants to make sure he has time to bring staff back and properly train them with the new guidelines.

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