Cleveland-area bartenders and servers worried about losing money as state cuts off late night alcohol sales

Cleveland area bartenders & servers worried about losing money as state cuts off late night alcohol

LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - As they prepare for a much earlier last call, Cleveland-area bartenders and servers are worried about losing money.

On Friday morning, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission approved Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal to cut off alcohol sales at 10 p.m. each night.

Drinks must be consumed, or removed by staff, by 11 p.m.

“I don’t know how our night shift bartenders are going to come back from that,” said Michaela Kenny, a bartender at Booth’s in Lakewood. “Everyone is losing money.”

“We really rely on our tips, so if we’re not getting [them], I don’t know how people can make a living,” she said.

Gov. DeWine commended most bars for following state health mandates, but pointed the finger at establishments that have not when he announced the proposal on Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve really followed all the guidelines. All of our customers have been great,” Kenny said. “I feel like we’re paying the price.”

Some customers seem to understand.

“I guess I kind of see the point in it just because tend to get a little looser as the night goes on,” said Nikki Looby.

Others have yet to get on board.

“If we have to go home at 10:00, we aren’t going to have a night,” said Felix Francis.

Back at Booth’s, Kenny hopes customers still show up.

“I’d hope people come out and are more understanding and generous when it comes to tips,” she said.

The new rule goes into effect tonight.

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