City closing some streets for downtown, OTR restaurants to create patio seating

Updated: May. 8, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati will be closing some streets and lanes in its Downtown and Over-The-Rhine neighborhoods to create patio seating for local restaurants.

Mayor John Cranley announced the plan at the city’s Friday media briefing, saying the city’s urban core restaurants have “sparked the city’s renaissance" and that expanded outdoor seating is “vital to them having a financial way forward through this crisis.”

The plan came just a day after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced restaurants in the state can open to outside dining on May 15 and inside dining on May 21 following eight weeks of being limited to carry-out and delivery services.

The outdoor environments, set to open May 15, will ostensibly follow proper safety protocols and social distancing as required by DeWine’s phased reopening.

Cranley says social distancing in the patios will be monitored to the extent the Health Department and CPD are able. He also says self-enforcement by restaurants and customers will be key.

Around 25 locations will be created using barriers to protect patrons from traffic and comply with liquor licenses.

The locations will span Over-the-Rhine, Downtown Cincinnati and the Banks.

“We know the Banks is a place where lots and lots of people in the city come together in large groups, and we felt it was important to be able to provide them a place to do so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Tracy Schwegmann, leasing agent representative at Jeffrey Anderson Real Estate.

“So the ability for us to be able to expand that patio seating out into the street allows us to provide that experience and that connection folks that are craving after eight weeks, but be able to do so in a socially responsible manner with the appropriate distancing requirements in place.”

Full street closure:

  • 15th Street – Between Vine and Republic, Republic and Race, Race and Pleasant
  • 14th Street - Between Vine and Republic, Republic and Race
  • 13th Street - Between Vine and Republic
  • Freedom Way - Between Vine and Joe Nuxhall, Vine and Race
  • Joe Nuxhall - Between 2nd and Freedom Way
  • Campbell Alley - Between Findlay and W. Elder

Partial Lane Closure:

  • Race St – Between Elder and Findlay, Court and 9th, 6th and 5th
  • Vine St. – Between 15th and Central Parkway
  • Walnut St. – Between 14th and Mercer St
  • Walnut St—Between 12th and 13th
  • Clay St – Between 14th and Liberty, 13th and 12th
  • Main St – Between 12th and Central Parkway
  • Broadway - 13th and 12th
  • 8th St. - between Sycamore and Main
  • 7th St. – Between Walnut and Main

Additional Areas

  • Fountain Square
  • Aronoff Center Plaza

Cranley adds there may be some obstacles to overcome, but “we have every reason to believe we will be able to effectively implement this (bar and restaurant) reopening plan by next Friday.”

Other restaurants and other neighborhoods will be added.

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