OTR cocktail bar reopens after closing due to COVID-19

OTR cocktail bar reopens after closing due to COVID-19
Japp's in OTR is back open after COVID-19 caused them to close for a second time.

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - For the second time in four months, a cocktail bar in Over-The-Rhine is reopening.

Back in late June, the owner of Japp’s, Molly Wellmann, said she was temporarily closing the bar after a customer began showing COVID-19 symptoms.

“Someone called saying they were in over the weekend and they were showing symptoms of COVID,” Wellmann recalled.

After deciding to close, Wellmann said the customer’s test results came back negative for the coronavirus.

But the good news was short-lived.

Not long after, Wellmann said she found out of one her employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The owner said staying safe during a health crisis meant acting fast before knowing the results and that’s why she had to close.

“I feel like it’s responsible, we’re part of the community,” explained Wellmann. “I couldn’t see how I am going to serve guests having this knowledge. So even if it was just me working, I would want to know I wasn’t infected before serving a guest.”

Now, after 14 days and some deep cleaning inside, Japp’s is set for reopening day part two.

The important thing for Wellmann now she said is to keep the doors open and take care of her employees.

“Right now, it’s about making sure our doors are open, we can take care of our employees, run the business and keep the city open,” Wellmann explained.

She also said she is hoping the short-term closure doesn’t stir any customers away but instead proves to them Japp’s is doing whatever it takes to ensure everyone’s safety.

Wellmann did say they have implanted several safety precautions like employee temperature checks and COVID-19 questionnaires.

Additionally, she said they are not letting customers congregate at the bar and they are still not allowing people to walk through the front doors unless they have a reservation.

To make a reservation, you need to head to Japp’s website.

As one OTR bar reopened Tuesday, another one announced they would be shutting back down.

Rhinehaus made the announcement on Twitter they decided to close and will be taking things week by week.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.