DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Friday a Dayton restaurant re-opened to limited service for the first time since in-person dining was halted. There was a long line of cars waiting on both sides of the street Friday evening, and dozens of socially distant people waiting for their orders. It’s a good problem to have for a restaurant that hasn’t been able to make food or money for weeks.
They’re hoping to get closer to normal in a few days. Jennifer Dean is the Owner & Proprietor of the Mudlick Tap House. She says, “With DeWine coming down, saying they’re going to reopen may 1, we wanted to get our feet wet and not just dive in.”
The Mudlick Tap House held a soft opening of sorts Friday night, re-opening for delivery and curbside service after being closed for weeks. Dean says the restaurant is doing well. “Good. Good. It’s not the best scenario obviously, but we’re making lemonade I guess.”
Mudlick is preparing to re-open for in person dining soon, but the governor has been tight-lipped about the May 1 plan he’ll announce Monday. “Where businesses have the best ability to protect their employees and businesses have the best ability to protect everybody else who comes in there.”
The Governor says the state’s goal is to get people working again, and as close to normal as possible. “We have to be careful. We don’t want to see spikes come up in the future, nor do we want to see us having to pull back things.”
Jennifer and the Mudlick team took precautions early. “We closed initially because of a threat to our employees and our guests.” And they’ll continue to do so now and whenever they’re fully operational again. “We’re not using any third-party delivery services, we’re doing it ourselves curbside. We’re delivering ourselves, carrying our hand sanitizer and our Lysol spray is everywhere. We had our own face masks made.”
Jennifer is hopeful that other restaurants will be in as strong a position as Mudlick is. “Most of the restaurant owners and people that we network with seem to be making lemonade.”