Columbus public health finds bars, restaurants complying on second day of reopening


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus Public Health said it conducted at least 23 inspections Saturday to see if restaurants and bars are complying with state guidelines to serve guests as Ohio’s economy gradually reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Columbus Public Health, all 23 inspections found the businesses were following guidelines such as social distancing.

However, that wasn’t the case Friday for one establishment in the Short North.

Standard Hall is making some changes after complaints were filed against it on the first day patios were allowed open. 

According to Columbus Public Health, complaints were filed about Standard Hall after the crowds that were seen there Friday.

The bar has since worked with health officials, police, and fire. 

On Saturday afternoon, most tables on the patio were full.

According to the bar, there are 45 tables and they are all six feet apart.

Owner Chris Corso said the crowd size Saturday was similar to what it was Friday night, but on Saturday, people were being told they have to stay at their table and cannot walk around. 

In a video shot Friday just before 9 p.m., people can be seen standing and moving around with their drinks.

Video shot Saturday afternoon shows most groups sitting at tables as opposed to walking around. 

In addition to other health rules posted at the bar, Corso said they are also now telling people they can’t be walking around. 

He said this is really the only way they can make sure groups are social distancing here. 

“As long as you tell people what the deal is, most have not had a problem with it,” Corso said. “So last night was just a learning experience and I think it’s going great today and it will continue to”

Columbus Public Health has been going around Saturday checking on restaurants and bars, leading to investigations around the city, including at Standard, a spokesperson said. She added all the places have been in compliance.

Lindsay Becker and her friends sat outside at Barrel and Taps in Grandview Saturday. They said when figuring out where to go, safety was a big factor.

“Being able to come somewhere where we know it’s safe and we know we can social distance but also see our friends, it’s nice, actually,” said Becker.

Barrel and Taps co-owner Carlos Domingo is keeping it in mind, too. The bar has rules in place to follow state orders and removed tables from the patio.

“We see ourselves as a neighborhood bar and so they see us as neighbors and I think that mutual respect is seen on our patio,” Domingo said.

According to rules from the state, places choosing to be open need to follow a list of rules including having tables being at least six feet apart or using barriers if they can’t be, and having employees wear masks.

“We’ve complied, we learned, we’re fixing things,” Corso said.

A spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine’s office issued the following statement Saturday:

Ohio was able to responsibly reopen businesses quickly due to the fact that Ohioans have widely followed the expert guidance to socially distance, practice proper sanitization and hygiene, and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Ohio is a success story for following these protocols.

As restaurants and bars opened yesterday for patio service, we know many establishments across Ohio are doing their part to follow best practices to keep patrons safe and socially distanced. However, anecdotes are also being distributed across the state about establishments that opened and allegedly ignored these safety guidelines. Those who operate their businesses while disregarding safety guidelines, designed to protect the health of their customers and all Ohioans, are being irresponsible and need to understand that these guidelines will be enforced.

Gov Mike DeWine’s office

Another important note from the Dine Safe Ohio order which Franklin County Public Health reminded people about is people need to be sitting when they are eating or drinking at a business.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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