On March 15, Embers and Trio, sister restaurants in Kenwood, closed their doors. The employees went home and the supplies were disposed of.
They could have stayed open for execution and delivery, but owner Jon Zipperstein said, “We had no idea how bad the virus was going to be. There were some terrible predictions.”
Plus, turning a restaurant that serves high-end steak and fresh sushi into a takeaway is not easy.
These restaurants and all Ohio restaurants and bars have been given permission to reopen. Outdoor rooms can be used from May 15th, indoor rooms will follow on May 21st. There are limitations. The parties must be seated 6 feet apart or there must be a physical barrier.
The restaurants in Cincinnati are preparing to prepare for this reopening. Seven weeks after closing, Embers and Trio reopened and offered their takeaway food.
So you can now order tempura sea bass and a New York strip au poivre from Embers or a Nicoise salad or a misoglazed grouper from Trio.
“We want to get ready and introduce new hygiene protocols before we bring the guests back into the dining room,” said Zipperstein.
The Ohio Restaurant Association advocated that restaurants be treated in the same way as retail stores and other publicly accessible businesses, and noted in a letter to Governor DeWine that “Ohio restaurants are the most devastated corporate sector with current dinner restrictions . ” Service that resulted in more than 300,000 restaurant workers being laid off or on leave and nearly 50% of all locations closed. “
In anticipation of the reopening and for other reasons, there are many other restaurants and restaurant groups that have not currently offered to operate.
The Thunderdome Group, which owns some of the most popular restaurants on Over-the-Rhine, hasn’t done anything since the closure began, even at their fast-casual restaurants City Bird and Currito.
“We were just not comfortable with a virus that was sure to make workers sick. It was all unknown,” said one of the owners, Joe Lanni. “And given the huge drop in sales, most employees seemed to be better off when they were unemployed rather than having greatly reduced working hours.”
But now they are gradually opening their Cincinnati restaurants.
“It’s like doing some mini new openings,” said Lanni.
It is also important to open slowly to set up the food supply systems. Lanni said it could take three weeks for their dealers to fully satisfy their needs, such as chicken for The Eagle.
The Looking Glass Hospitality Group, headed by Scott Schmidt, which owns Tahona Kitchen, Clyborne, Fretboard in Hamilton and The Emery, which have not yet opened, has not initially made a decision on whether to hold it. But they have now opened up to it to a limited extent.
These systems will be important in the future. Implementation and delivery will likely take some time. Customers may not have the confidence to come in and sit down, even after the economy officially “reopens”.
One thing restaurants feel clear about is knowing how to obey health regulations.
“I go to other institutions and see systems that are far below what we have always done regularly,” said Zipperstein.