COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Friday was the first night both the statewide 10 p.m. curfew and the Franklin County 6 p.m. stay-at-home advisory were in effect.
There were a lot of people out and about after that 6 p.m. advisory, but even with the bustle in the area, local restaurant owners said they’ve seen a steady decline since the curfew was announced and even more of a decline Friday.
Bars near the Ohio State University like the Library Bar have seen a decline in business not only because of the curfew, but also with classes now moving online for OSU students.
“We don’t know if people are sticking around or how many people were scared off by the advisory that was delivered, more of an order, and who can see through that?” said Quinn Allen, owner of The Library. “It’s muddy waters right now.”
Over in the Short North, the owner of Rooh, Bhavesh Kishinchand, said the restaurant had a steady flow of customers a few weeks ago, but now it’s a different story.
Kishinchand said the anticipation of a possible shutdown enticed a lot of people to go out. He thinks with the curfew and the advisory, more are choosing to stay home, cancel reservations, or order take out.
“We still want people to dine with us, but at the same time, we’re dialing up that take-out menu, updating new dishes for take out, new dinners, and having to go back to that same feeling where we had to revamp back in March,” he said.
Kishinchand doesn’t believe customers want to be rushed while dining, so the restaurant has seen a drop in reservations.
Both restaurants are working to revamp their to-go options so more people are inclined to order during the course of the stay-at-home advisory.