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As Northeast Ohio restaurants resume indoor dining, some are choosing to wait

Why do restaurants stay closed, despite permission to reopen?

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — On Wednesday, tall new divides went up between booths at Red, The Steakhouse in Beachwood.

Gregg Levy said online reservations have been filling up for days, and on Thursday, they will finally seat people again. Levy, who also serves on Gov. DeWine’s restaurant advisory group, said the rules will be clear.

"No open congregation areas," he said. "If you have a drink or food, you have to be in a seat."

Others prepped, too: Burntwood Tavern in Rocky River removed more than half the tables and most seats from the bar. Employees follow timers now to wash their hands every 20 minutes.

Yet, some are saying, "Not so fast:" At nearby Tartine’s, owner Dean Valore is still waiting to reopen, holding off on what could be a profitable time.

"I’m glad we waited,” he said. "We’re going to open our total dining experience, inside and out, the first week of June…and we can afford to wait a couple more weeks to make sure things are done right and responsibly."

When they do reopen, Valore said they will be reservation-only and will not accept walk-ins. Like a doctor’s office, every customer will have their temperature checked.

"If it’s an issue, we’re going to be prepared to tell people that we really can’t entertain them right now," Valore said.

Meanwhile, at Nighttown near University Circle, they are waiting until at least July 4th to reopen after seeing patios overwhelmed this past weekend. The owner of Lindey’s Lake House in The Flats tells 3News they learned from their experience and will add staff by the dozens along with police.

In the meantime, DeWine has also tasked law enforcement with performing compliance checks. Violators who are cited risk losing their liquor licenses for up to a year.

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