Ohio allowed outdoor seating at bars and restaurants to reopen yesterday (May 15) with social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols in place, as outlined in the Responsible RestartOhio Plan.
And based on photos that were spread around social media last night, it appeared that some Cincinnati bars were having issues adhering to those guidelines.
Specifically, many took to social media to complain or raise concern about overcrowding at Rosedale OTR and The Blind Pig, both of whom have addressed the issue on their Facebook pages.
Rosedale said, "Yesterday, when we re-opened, we had new protocols in place. We limited the number of guests at the door, our staff wore masks, we sanitized every table and surface once a guest departed, and made sure to mark and space our tables and barriers, among other procedures. Now that we have one full day of service under our belts, we have a better understanding of what is needed to execute effectively under the new guidelines. We’ve spent the day deliberating operational changes, and those changes will go into effect as soon as we re-open this afternoon."
You can read the full post below.
Dear Rosedale Guests, We’d like to take a moment to address some of the concerns surrounding last night’s re-opening....Posted by Rosedale OTR on Saturday, May 16, 2020
And the Blind Pig said, "Last night was our first night back in business, and as we all work to navigate the unknown, and implement these major changes to how we operate, we didn’t know what to expect with business, and unfortunately, despite that we have security and trained staff, the weather was beautiful, people came out, and we still didn’t have enough procedures and staff in place. We are working this morning to fix this moving forward, and will issue a statement about additional changes and procedures that will be in place to keep our staff and guests safe, and follow the rules that have been set forth by the city and state.
You can read their full post below.
To address the crowd situation last night, and for those who don’t already know, photos and posts showing a packed patio...Posted by The Blind Pig Cincinnati-Ohio on Saturday, May 16, 2020
The public reaction — or uproar — has been loud enough that Mayor John Cranley issued a statement on his Twitter page this afternoon.
He said, "Despite widespread compliance, there were a few bars that clearly did not follow the requirement that all patrons have seats and that parties must be no bigger than 10 and that tables be at least 6 feet apart. As a result, this morning I met with the city manager, police health and law department leadership to discuss enforcement actions. Tonight, enforcement will be enhanced and bars can and will be shut down if necessary to protect the public health. In addition, depending on the situation, fines will be issued and other legal actions may be taken. To any bar that is not following the state orders, consider yourself warned."
Update on outdoor dining. pic.twitter.com/RUXuGg9Y2R— John Cranley (@JohnCranley) May 16, 2020
Mayor Cranley also posted a photo of himself taking the opportunity to enjoy some al fresco dining with friends last night at Pepp & Dolores in OTR.
And many used that as a chance to both tell him about the issues with bar overcrowding and take him to task for what they considered to be his own violation of social distancing protocols.
So great to see safely distanced outdoor dining return! Great to support the Thunderdome Group Lanni brothers who have brought so many great new restaurants to our city. Great also to see some of my best childhood friends. pic.twitter.com/PnLUcfUyAH— John Cranley (@JohnCranley) May 15, 2020
Some of the comments found in response to his Twitter post include: