Dublin Pub | Photo by Kayli Thompson | The Wright State Guardian
As organizations and restaurants throughout the state of Ohio call for an extension on liquor sale and consumption curfews, Gov. Mike DeWine continues to hold businesses accountable to a 10 p.m. liquor sale cutoff.
The Liquor Curfew
On July 30, 2020 DeWine signed an executive order prohibiting bars and restaurants from selling liquor past 10 p.m. and liquor consumption past 11 p.m. DeWine signed the order following a spike in coronavirus cases that was associated with bars across the state.
“The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors, with interactions between many different people,” said DeWine when first introducing the executive order in July. “While this may have been fine during normal times, these are not normal times. We must make a change to curb the social behaviors that will cause this virus to continue to spread.”
A little over two months later, the bar and restaurant industry continues to be detrimentally impacted by DeWine’s executive order.
The impact of the order
From Avon Brewing Company in Avon, OH, to The Dublin Pub in the Oregon District, bars and restaurants across the state have found themselves struggling with the 10 p.m. liquor sale curfew.
“The Ohio Restaurant Association has surveyed owners and operators around the state each week, and results show more than half are suffering sales losses versus a year ago of -20% to more than -70%,” said Manager of Media and Communications for The Ohio Restaurant Association Homa Moheimani. “Furthermore, 80% do not expect to break even financially in 2020, and 50% don’t expect their businesses to survive into 2021 if conditions stay the same.”
While many would wish for an extension on the liquor sale curfew, some students at Wright State University (WSU) feel that the 10 p.m. curfew is reasonable for the time being.
“I guess I kind of have mixed feelings about it. I’ve never been one to stay out too late anyways and I honestly think that 10 p.m. is a reasonable time to start making people sober up. Also, because of everything that’s going on, I feel like 10 p.m. is more than late enough for you to be in a place packed with other people,” said WSU senior Julia Boyd. “However, if it were inconvenient for me at any time, I feel like I would be quick to change my opinion.”
The Ohio Restaurant Association has taken the initiative to write to DeWine in hopes of extending the Ohio liquor curfew to midnight in response to their findings on how the liquor law is impacting restaurants statewide. As of now, DeWine is choosing to stand by the 10 p.m. curfew.