SIDNEY – Shelby County restaurants are preparing to serve diners at their establishments for the first time in almost two months, beginning with outdoor dining at some restaurants on Friday.
Cruizer’s Bar and Grill in Russia and The Inn Between in Botkins will be among the first restaurants in Ohio to resume outdoor dining. Both restaurants have patios that will reopen on Friday and can accommodate approximately 60 patrons at a time.
“We are definitely looking forward to it, and we are ready to move on,” said Barb Young, who owns Cruizer’s Bar and Grill with her husband, Steve Young.
Restaurants throughout Ohio have been limited to carry-out and delivery services since mid-March as a result of orders from Gov. Mike DeWine intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As of Friday, outdoor dining will be permitted at restaurants. Dine-in services can resume on May 21.
Cruizer’s will reopen its dining room on May 21. The Inn Between, however, likely won’t resume indoor dining that soon, owner Tim Rogers said.
The Inn Between added a drive-thru shortly after DeWine’s order to close dining rooms, and Rogers said his establishment has seen a lot of customers utilizing it. He’s not sure the business could accommodate a full dining room in addition to the volume of carry-out orders The Inn Between has served.
“As long as the drive-thru business is as busy as it’s been, we can’t really wait on that many people,” Rogers said.
Rogers will reevaluate the situation and will post updates about when The Inn Between dining room may open on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen in Sidney is another local restaurant that’s evaluating current conditions as it plans its reopening.
Frank Catanzarite, who owns Murphy’s along with his wife, Jill Catanzarite, and son, Rocco Catanzarite, said the restaurant plans to reopen its dining room on May 21. The downtown establishment also is working with the City of Sidney to create an outdoor dining space on the sidewalk adjacent to the business.
“We don’t know what the timing looks like,” for outdoor dining, Frank Catanzarite said.
Along with Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen, the Catanzarites also are preparing to open Tavolo in downtown Sidney. Construction at the Italian restaurant should be completed late this week or early next week, Frank Catanzarite said.
The new restaurant won’t be ready to open by May 21, though, as staff still need to be hired and trained. Updates about the restaurant and a potential opening date will be posted on its Facebook page.
When Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen does reopen to dine-in patrons, it may have to do so with a limited menu. Supply chains have been disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic with meat supplies being the primary concern and a shortage of potatoes being a potential problem as well, Frank Catanzarite said.
“Until the supply chain is operating efficiently, I think we’ll be hard pressed to offer everything on our menu,” he said. “We’ve had some of our distributors say that their inventory is as low as 8 percent of what they normally carry.”
In addition to potentially scaled down menus, diners can expect to see other changes when restaurants reopen their doors.
As part of DeWine’s orders, parties at restaurants will be limited to 10 or fewer people. Tables must be separated by at least 6 feet or by a physical barrier.
Cruizer’s Bar and Grill, The Inn Between and Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen all are working to comply with the state’s social distancing regulations and increasing cleaning efforts.
“We’re definitely going to enforce that social distancing rule that we’ve been given,” Barb Young said.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainty it caused has been difficult for a wide variety of businesses, including restaurants. But their owners said Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen, The Inn Between and Cruizer’s Bar and Grill all have been able to withstand the challenges thanks to the support of their communities.
“It’s been very different,” Barb Young said. “We’ve been doing pretty good. We have very good community support here.”
As businesses start to reopen, Frank Catanzarite said he hopes Ohioans feel safe enough to visit and continue to support them.
“I hope people will come out and support not just our business but all businesses,” he said.
For more information about Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen, visit its Facebook page or call 937-658-6160.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.