Miami Valley restaurants attribute Cinco de Mayo crowds to vaccine rollout

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Miami Valley restaurants and businesses say they’ve seen an uptick in business on Cinco de Mayo but suspect it’s due to more Ohioans receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.

May 7 and May 8 are are huge opportunity for businesses — between Cinco de Mayo, University of Dayton’s graduation this weekend as well as Mother’s Day on Sunday, local restaurants say the upcoming weekend alone could help them bounce back from the pandemic.

“It is a completely different story than what we had a year ago,” said Allison Swanson, public information officer for the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

This time last year, restaurants and businesses were operating through strictly take-out orders. Now, with more than 40-percent of Ohioans being at least partially vaccinated, businesses say they’ve seen an uptick in foot traffic.

“We do have more people that are vaccinated and feel safe to come out or take advantage of the outdoor spaces we have in downtown,” said Swanson.

With the DORA open on Mother’s Day weekend, Downtown Dayton Partnership says they’re prepared to celebrate the safely. Jimmie’s Ladder 11 says Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day are normally big days for them, but adding in the University of Dayton’s graduation, they’re anticipating more people going out to eat.

“We have to remind a lot of them to put their masks on, everyone has to wear one when they come in but probably more comfortable after getting their second shot and thinking everything is ready to roll,” said Brad Hull, manager of Jimmie’s Ladder 11.

Additionally, this weekend is Downtown Dayton Partnerships’ “Sidewalk Sale,” involving 40 pop-up businesses throughout the area and live entertainment. For more information, click here.

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