Northeast Ohio restaurants reopen patios; rainy weather puts a damper on diner turnout

Patrons return to Northeast Ohio's restaurants as patios open

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Restaurants reopened Friday for patio and outdoor dining.

Rain kept many from coming out for the first day; however, customers and restaurant workers tried to make the most of it.

Friends Chris Clark and Pete D’Amico went out to eat lunch in Ohio City as soon as they could.

“It’s the first time you could see freedom, and have a little bit of normalcy.”

At Harry Buffalo on East 4th Street, patrons gathered under their covered awnings and window seating.

Restaurants were forced to close two months ago on March 15.

“I’m hoping the weather holds, and I’m really hoping for people to come out and see us. I’ve spent the last two months deep cleaning this place," General Manager Taylor McCullough said.

Harry Buffalo has removed tables and chairs, and added touchless hand sanitizers, and McCullough put down social distancing markers.

Employees will wear masks and they’ve added touchless menus. “We have a key bar code for our menu so we will be going paperless. All you have to do is hold your phone camera and it brings up our menu. [Customers] don’t have to touch anything.”

At Lago East Bank in the Flats, Director of Operations Brendan Kearney said “we want people to be comfortable when they come in and have a good time and get back to normal.”

He said they’ve made sure “everything is six feet apart or more. We lose about 20 seats that way. We’ve taken away community seating like our cabana section and things like that.”

TODAY: patio dining reopens. Are you eating out? Where’s the first place you’ll go? Pic: LAGO EAST BANK

Posted by Kendall Forward on Friday, May 15, 2020

Even though their massive patio is down a few tables, it was booked with reservations for Friday and Saturday.

However, the weather had other plans.

Restaurants are allowed to reopen for indoor dining on May 21.

Latest #Ohio reopening dates: ‬ ‪▶️May 15 outdoor dining, salons, spas & personal services ‬ ‪▶️May 21 indoor dining &...

Posted by Kendall Forward on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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