As restaurants reopen, officials to continue enforcement of Dine Safe order

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the state of Ohio continues to reopen, health officials say they will continue to monitor bars and restaurants to ensure they are complying with the Dine Safe Ohio Order.

On Friday, establishments were allowed to resume outdoor service, while following the rules outlined in the order.

According to Columbus Public Health officials, seven bars and restaurants received written warnings for alleged non-compliance.

Those to receive warnings were:

  • Standard Hall
  • Ugly Tuna Saloona
  • Pig Iron BBQ
  • Kitchen Social
  • Pub Out Back
  • Double Barrel
  • Woodland’s Backyard 

Standard Hall was the only establishment to receive two warning letters. The owner said health officials took issue with the line forming outside of his bar, which he voluntarily closed so he can receive guidance from the state on how to address the issue.

City Attorney Zach Klein is reviewing the warnings given to all seven establishments. He issued the following statement:

“As we all work to operate under the Governor’s new orders, we have to take time to educate and inform. Our education-first, citation-second approach will help explain the new rules to residents and businesses and will give them time to cooperate and comply before filing citations. The reality is, we’re all in uncharted, uncomfortable territory and these new orders can be complex. Overall, we need to use common sense to support businesses and their employees, keep employees and patrons safe, and protect public health.

“The state’s Dine Safe Ohio order states, ‘Customers must be seated when consuming food, beer, wine and liquor on the premises of the business.’ This is perhaps the most important part of the order because it essentially means that all patrons must be seated while at an establishment unless using the restroom or entering/exiting. Thus, a good rule of thumb for businesses is that there should be no more patrons than there are seats at properly distanced tables. Additionally, if patrons refuse to comply with this requirement, it is the responsibility of the establishment to ask them to leave the premises. If the patron fails to leave upon being asked, that individual could be charged with trespassing.

“Regarding Standard Hall, we are still gathering photos, body camera footage, and all evidence and facts in order to make a determination of how to move forward. After information has been collected and fully reviewed, we will proceed with appropriate action, if warranted. We will continue to examine every incident referred to our office thoroughly and on a case-by-case basis to ensure fairness and compliance.”

Also over the weekend, the Ohio Investigative Unit issued a citation to the Park Street Cantina, in Columbus.

According to investigators, the bar failed to adhere to social distancing rules.

The owner, Fadi Michael, said while he thought his bar was in compliance with the Dine Safe Ohio order, he will also keep his establishment closed until he can work with state health officials on how to best comply.

“We are here to comply,” he said. “We want to comply. We want to be open, bring people back to work. We want to do it safely, as much as we can.”

On Thursday, bars and restaurants will be allowed to begin providing indoor service to customers, while following the rules outlined by the state’s order.

Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said compliance checks will be ongoing as that service resumes.

“We will provide some additional education to all of our food service operators so that they can prepare themselves appropriately,” she said. “In addition to that, we will be going out and doing random checks to see how people are doing, particularly with social distancing, making sure the restaurant staff are wearing face coverings when appropriate, and making sure that we are adhering to the new orders that are out there for our restaurant operators,” she said.

To view the Dine Safe Ohio order, click here.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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