COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fado Pub and Kitchen Partner Scott Neff said the group will have to follow the newly passed alcohol sales curfew order for reasons that don’t really apply to them.
“Traditionally at closing time, we’d have 30 to 40 people in here on a busy day so you know … we’re just not the place where you would have a whole lot of people congregating,” said Neff.
The Ohio Liquor Control commission voted Friday to pass the emergency order being pushed by Gov. Mike DeWine, which states any establishment with a liquor permit can’t sell alcohol past 10 p.m.
Neff said while Fado offers food, their bar scene will be affected.
“We’re absolutely known as a restaurant, but we also double as a sports bar,” Neff said. It will cut the revenue a little bit more—not a good thing today.”
The order comes during the same week the state saw its highest single day increase of COVID-19 cases. Owner of Fifty West Brewery Bobby Slattery said he’s been doing all he can to follow state guidelines.
“At the end of the day, the customers are going to be the ones that dictate that for us. We put the parameters and signage up asking for social distancing. We don’t let people move tables,” said Slattery.
DeWine said this new order is geared toward customers in their 20s. But Slattery said he sees people of all ages.
“We get everything from the families coming in with kids from 2 to, you know, 10 years old, and they’re playing in the sand. We also have a lot of the 18 to 24 year olds that all play in our volleyball leagues.”
The drink cutoff, which the Ohio Liquor Control Commission said will stay in place indefinitely, does not apply to carry-out beverages, which Neff said Fado will benefit from.
“I do think it helps us as operators; it helps us to have at least one more little revenue stream that we need tremendously right now,” said Neff.
At least two Ohio restaurants have filed lawsuits to block the order, which doesn’t surprise Neff.
“I think the governor is in a no-win situation, so kind of no matter what he does … if he is a proponent of closing earlier or closing later.”
But, Neff said he does understands the governor’s perspective.
“I think his position is aligned with ours,” Neff said. “We have to survive this. We all have to get through this together, and once we do on the other side, then we’ll celebrate.”