Local bars, restaurants optimistic with midnight curfew on the horizon

Ohio’s curfew could move back another hour next Thursday if hospitalization numbers hold.

Businesses noticing changes after full week of extended curfew

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - More than a week after Ohio’s curfew was extended to 11 p.m., businesses in the area say they’re seeing some slight differences in customer traffic.

The bigger impact? not having to rush people out the door when the clock tolls ten.

Tom West is manager of the upscale gastropub Crown Republic on Sycamore Street in Downtown Cincinnati.

“So, as far as monetary sales or whatever, we haven’t seen that impact yet,” West told FOX19 NOW Friday. “Obviously our highest traffic volume is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it’s just been seven days.”

Indeed, it was seven days ago, on Jan. 28, that Gov. Mike DeWine announced the new curfew on falling statewide hospitalizations.

Seven consecutive days of hospitalizations below 3,500 netted Ohio an extra hour.

If hospitalizations come in below 3,000 for seven consecutive days, the curfew will move back to midnight.

According to ODH data, they’ve been under 3,000 every day since Jan. 25, under 2,500 every day since Feb. 2 and currently stand at 2,170, nearly half what they were in the first days of January.

Things are looking up for Ohio’s battle with COVID.

By extension, they’re looking up for restaurant staff at places like Crown Republic and Holy Grail, where manager Tom Sparling says the added hour is welcome.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Sparling said. “I think in a few weeks, or hopefully within a month, we can get back to where we were as far as staying open until our normal hours.”

West says while they are excited about the extra hour, more still needs to happen to return business to where it was before the pandemic.

“I think what’s the bigger impact is the fact that there’s nothing going on downtown,” he said. “The entertainment industry is still at a standstill. Once that opens up with the Aronoff and such other businesses, we’ll feel more relaxed about things going on downtown for people to come eat.”

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