DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– This weekend marked the Oregon District’s soft opening of Out on Fifth. The weather this weekend has been slightly hit or miss but most businesses say they’re excited to have it back.
“Hopefully we’ll get some more events going on since it’s looking like COVID is slowing down,” said Omega Clerk Fred Grof.
Businesses lining Fifth Street have opened their doors and expanded out into the street ready to welcome guests for the first Out on Fifth weekend. Chef Dane Shipp said participating in Out in Fifth has increased sales overall.
“Amazing, we did it all year last summer, people know about us but then the people who don’t, it’s really good foot traffic through,” said Chef Shipp. “It’s been really good for us, for sure.”
The Ohio Restaurant Association said more than 90-percent of restaurants across Ohio consider staffing a crisis in the industry due to the pandemic.
“They’re closing early, not opening on Mondays, sometimes Sundays or Tuesday things like that, they want to get back to normal for guests but they need to be open most days to make money and make it a profitable business,” said ORA CEO & President John Barker.
The ORA is hopeful more Out on Fifth weekends will help rebuild the industry.
“I think people are really trying to see when we can get through this and get back to pre-COVID,” said Barker. “The experts are saying the numbers are going down in Ohio and people seem to be genuinely optimistic about that.”
Out of Fifth area is from Patterson Boulevard to Wayne avenue every Friday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at night and starting at noon on Sundays.