CLEVELAND — Restaurants are about to be back in business when it comes to table service.
On Friday, Governor Mike DeWine will allow outdoor dining to resume.
But you may want to call ahead first, since not all places plan to reopen their patios right away.
“We’re probably only going to have five or six tables out there,” said Shawn Freeman of The Chocolate Bar in Cleveland. “If you want to take your to-go food from here and sit at one of our patio tables, we’ll probably do that.”
Brendan Ring of Nighttown near University Circle plans to wait until at least the Fourth of July before he reopens his space.
“We’ll take a ‘wait and see’ attitude,” he said. “We could certainly open and keep everyone even more than six feet apart, but I just don’t think it’s time yet.”
In the meantime, Ring said he will use his time to stock up on supplies.
“A thousand N-95 masks, we’re gathering up all kinds of disinfectants,” he said. “Hand sanitizers, we’ve got a lot already.”
In Bay Village, Mike Smith said he will wait May 25th before allowing customers back onto his back patio.
What he does next depends on them.
“How the general public responds. Are they going to come in here and be smart and respectable of us and our staff and each other? Or are people going to come in and go crazy because all of a sudden there’s restaurants and bars that they can go to?” he said.
His “Thyme Table” was recently named “Best New Restaurant” by Cleveland Magazine and he hopes to have roughly half his staff back by the end of the month to defend the title.
“As things grow, we’ll slowly start bringing people back but that’s another thing--we don’t want to pull everybody off of unemployment and then have it not work,” he said. “We want to do it right. We don’t want to just jump into this.”