Top Dog Saloon In Fairborn Has Found A Way To Stay Profitable Despite Curfew
Gov. Mike DeWine issued a 10 p.m. curfew last week in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Lots of bar and restaurant owners are concerned the curfew will cut even deeper into their bottom line. But one bar owner in Fairborn has found a way to keep his operation profitable.
Jonathan Molnar has owned Top Dog Saloon in Fairborn for over 40 years. Now, due to the curfew, he is unable to sell drinks at his bar after 10 p.m.. However, Molnar's bar has a food service license, which means he can sell drinks with to-go meals until 2:00 a.m. His menu is small. He sells hotdogs and hamburgers with a side of chips. For every meal, he can sell three drinks with it.
“As long as restaurants are allowed to sell drinks to go with meals, I think things will continue to be good for us," he said.
Top Dog Saloon has a unique advantage. Molnar owns an adjoining apartment. He lets his bar patrons eat and drink their to-go meals there. If they want another round, they can just walk next door to the bar.
Molnar was cited last week by state liquor agents because one of his bartenders popped the cap off two to-go beers at 10:20 p.m. Molnar says he spoke to those agents about his set-up next door. He says the agents told him they weren’t concerned about what went on at a private residence. They were only concerned about liquor being sold for consumption on premises after 10 p.m..
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.