City of Dayton hesitant to reopen restaurants, businesses as part of RestartOhio

Photo of Dayton skyline.

Kaitlin Lewis    
News Editor

While the Responsible RestartOhio plan is taking major steps this week, some are pushing against the reopening of businesses.

This week, Gov. Mike DeWine is allowing life to return to a new normal for many businesses. On Tuesday, retail stores were able to open their doors again if they followed guidelines such as practicing social distancing and requiring all employees to wear masks at work.

Friday, May 15, a long list of businesses are scheduled to reopen, including tattoo parlors, hair salons and nail spas.

Restaurants and bars are also making major steps on Friday as they are allowed to serve customers in outdoor seating.

The city of Cincinnati will be partially or completely closing some streets to allow restaurants to have more space for outdoor capacity.

The city of Dayton, however, is pushing back against the reopening of restaurants.

Mayor Nan Whaley said that Dayton will not be approving permits for outdoor seating for restaurants or bars and will revisit their policy in June.

Whaley argues that Dayton cannot “in good conscience encourage people” to eat out yet due to the lack of COVID-19 testing.

“You will not see me and my husband out at restaurants,” Whaley said.

Whaley acknowledged the steps that the city of Cincinnati is taking for restaurants but does not think Dayton is ready.

Any Dayton restaurant that already has patio or outdoor seating as part of their business will be able to serve customers outside as long as they adhere to Gov. DeWine’s guidelines.  

Whaley is continuing to encourage the carryout option at many restaurants.

“I know the city of Dayton can hang on a little while longer,” Whaley said.

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