DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) -Local bars, restaurants and breweries are spending the next three weeks preparing for the day the Ohio COVID mandates and restrictions are lifted. Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday night that on June 2nd, all health orders would be rescinded.
“The news kind of took everybody by surprise,” said Colin Barnhart, product and sales manager for Lock 27 Brewery.
“My initial reaction was ‘Wow, okay [this is] going to happen,” said Liz Valenti, chef and owner at Wheat Penny Oven and Bar.
At Lock 27 Brewery, Barnhart says they’re going to take things slow for employees and customers of the brewery.
“Like the Governor said, it is totally up to the discretion of an establishment now and how they would like to go about these things so we’re going to kind of ease back into it,” he said.
While they haven’t come up with a solid outline yet of mask mandates or social distancing, Barnhart did say they plan to utilize the patio during the summer months. The patio is a side-result of pandemic restrictions, but they plan to keep it and use it for live performances and more.
“It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic for us to finally get approved for outside dining and outside drinking,” said Barnhart “But now that we [have] it we plan on utilizing it to our fullest ability.”
At Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, Valenti has plans to make sure her staff is prepared for the potential of more customers with fewer masks. She’s coordinated to work with Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County for a pop-up vaccine clinic in the parking lot of her restaurant. The clinic will be open to the public, but is targeted towards the employees and staff of those who work in establishments in and around the Oregon District.
“I think for us as employers, it’s important that we really get everyone on our staff fully vaccinated,” said Valenti. “We’re hoping that anyone that has been working too much and hasn’t been able to vaccinate will see that this is a great opportunity to get their vaccinations done on Monday.
The vaccine clinic, planned for Monday May 17 at 3 pm, will allow the newly vaccinated to sit on the patio of Wheat Penny and enjoy food and drinks.