Ohio restaurants, bars reopen indoor seating

Indoor dining in Ohio begins Thursday

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Restaurants across the state are starting to serve customers inside Thursday in the next phase of Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan for reopening Ohio.

In Hyde Park, The Echo had a steady stream of customers Thursday morning.

They’ve got signs welcoming customers back and one that reads “if you have these symptoms, the ones most associated with COVID-19, do not come inside to eat.”

The restaurant put up wooden dividers between booths to safely comply with the state rules for having tables within six feet of each other.

At the bar, groups have to have at least two bar stools in between each other to socially distance.

They put scannable QR codes on each table so people can see their menu on their phones.

A piece of plexiglass now hangs in front of the cashier to prevent the spread of germs. They also created clean and dirty pen mugs for when customers sign their receipts.

LIST: Rules and recommendations for indoor dining as Ohio restaurants reopen

Indoor, outdoor dining open in Ohio

Lauren Orndorff is a nurse at Cincinnati Children’s and says seeing the safety measures beforehand made her feel comfortable enough to dine in.

“They had posted the other day kind of like saying they eliminated a lot of tables and that they’d be wearing masks, so it made us feel comfortable about coming here," she said.

The owner said she got strong support for dining in from her customers on social media, which encouraged her to take as many safety measures as she did.

“It was a little bit of a responsibility. I realized, ‘oh, people trust us,’ so our goal is, if they come in and they really see, okay, they’ve done this, hopefully we’ve done it right. I just want people then to relax," Stephanie Surgeon said.

Orndorff says even though people can eat inside at restaurants, she’s still encouraging people to take precautions.

“Like wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping your distance when possible. I think it’s important just to try to live a normal life," she said.

Other restaurants in Ohio are coming up with their own separate plans for how they reopen their inside dining safely.

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