Coronavirus: ‘We have the opportunity to bounce back,’ says Clark County bar owner after curfew lifted

Nicki Callicoat makes a drink at O'Conner's Irish Pub as she tends bar Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
caption arrowCaption
Nicki Callicoat makes a drink at O'Conner's Irish Pub as she tends bar Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Several Clark County bar owners and bartenders say that the expiration this week of a statewide overnight curfew used to help curb the spread of the coronavirus will help their businesses.

The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was first implemented in November and was later shortened by an hour. It expired Thursday, a move that some local bar owners applauded.

Tina Ramsey, an owner of O’Conners Irish Pub in Springfield, said that a large portion of sales traditionally take place after 10 p.m.

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“Now we have the opportunity to bounce back. That was not the case before,” she said.

Ramsey said that she felt the curfew added yet another obstacle for small businesses, especially restaurants and bars, that are trying to make it through the pandemic.

The curfew did not apply to people going to and from work, anyone getting groceries or picking up takeout from restaurants and anyone going to the hospital.

However, Ramsey said it did have an impact on establishments that rely mainly on in-person service or serve customers at later hours.

Prior to the statewide curfew, Ohio bars and restaurants were unable to serve alcohol after 10 p.m. Now with end of the curfew, bars will be able to return to normal hours. Some plan to serve alcohol until 2:30 a.m.

Abby Boswell, who owns Wayside Tavern in Springfield, said that her bar typically caters to a more late night crowd. She said the curfew impacted revenue as well as altered the schedules of her employees as they had to accommodate an earlier last call.

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Boswell said that she is happy that her establishment will be able to serve customers later and hopes it will lead to an increase in business.

State officials said in November that a curfew would be the least disruptive to businesses while still working to slow the spread of the virus.

The curfew expired on Thursday as coronavirus related hospitalizations remained under 2,500 for more than seven days in a row.

Paula Smith, who serves as a bar tender for the Ole Brick Tavern in Springfield, said that customers have been understanding of the curfew and the earlier last call.

However, it did have an impact as some customers were not able to stay as long as they normally would have.

But, with bars able to serve customers later, she hopes that it will signal a return to a somewhat normalcy.

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