Ohio Bars, Restaurants Unhappy with New Alcohol Rules


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently proposed that bars and restaurants cut off alcohol sales at 10 p.m. nightly, a plan that was approved by the state’s Ohio Liquor Control Commission Friday, July 31, according to Fox19. Of course, this was met with pushback from locations as soon as it was announced. Several told Cleveland.com that the governor’s approach punishes all bars and restaurants for the actions of the few breaking the state’s coronavirus safety guidelines.

The plan says there will be a blanket 10 p.m. cutoff time across the state for alcohol sales with no distinctions between bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Patrons would have until 11 p.m. to finish their drinks.

“I’d love to see the science behind it. Where’s the science?” said John Lane of the Winking Lizard, whose company has been in business for 37 years and has multiple locations throughout Northeast Ohio. “Is there contact tracing that says we’ve got an inordinate amount of cases coming out of bars and restaurants? They already gave us restrictions on what we’re supposed to do. And how about the operators doing absolutely everything that the governor wants us to do? Where’s the enforcement for those that aren’t? Why penalize everyone because a few people are not abiding by the guidelines?”

Eric Ho of the popular Viking-themed cocktail bar LBM said they’ll lose up to 40% of income based on the new restrictions.

“To me, it seems more like he’s applying a Band-Aid over a wound and he’s not really solving the root of the issue – which, to me, is holding other business owners accountable for the coronavirus-related infractions,” Ho said. “My big thing right now is just making sure that the government knows or has a plan on enforcing any of the things they do. It’s all unclear – and leaving it down to the business owners or citizens in general.”


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