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Restaurants, City Governments Grapple With Outdoor Dining

The Barrel House in Dayton will stick with curbside pickup even though bars and restaurants are allowed to open for outdoor dining on Friday.
The Barrel House
The Barrel House in Dayton will stick with curbside pickup even though bars and restaurants are allowed to open for outdoor dining on Friday.

On Friday restaurants and bars in the state are allowed to open for outdoor dining under Governor Mike DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio Plan. But with added safety requirements to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, some owners in the Miami Valley are choosing not to reopen. 

The 8-by-25-foot patio in front of The Barrel House in Dayton will not be open for outdoor dining on Friday. The bar’s co-owner Sara Stathes said, under the new guidelines, they would only be able to serve one group at a time. Plus, she does not want to be responsible for putting people in danger.

“There's a lot of pressure to make good choices and to be responsible for our choices,” she said. “We're being put in a position to make decisions that I never thought I would have to make. I just feel wholly unqualified to make these huge decisions.”

Local cities are also making decisions about outdoor dining. Huber Heights is allowing temporary waivers that would let restaurants serve customers in parking areas they would not normally be allowed to use. In Dayton, the city will not be issuing new outdoor seating permits.