Restaurant owners, workers and their supporters gathered Thursday night outside Wings Sports Bar and Grille in Beavercreek to protest the COVID-related restrictions placed on their businesses. They met with State Senator Bob Hackett and State Representative Rick Perales to voice their concerns.
Residents held signs that read “Save Our Small Businesses” and “No More Curfew,” referring to the 10 p.m. cutoff on alcohol sales in bars and restaurants in Ohio.
Patrick Reed, who owns Angie's Firehouse Tavern in Dayton, said the curfew has made his business lose $300 to $600 a night. Reed said he is on board with following safety guidelines, but thinks the safest place for people to drink is in a bar or restaurant where staff can enforce the rules.
“We don't quite understand why we've been targeted. We've been playing by the rules since day one. … They’re killing us. We’re treading water,” he said. “If this goes on much longer, we'll just be in the graveyard of broken dreams with a lot of other restaurants.”
Doug Finkle, owner of Julia’s Nite Club in Dayton, was one of the organizers of the event. He said the protest was a way to express to government officials that these restrictions are killing businesses. He said he has applied for loans for his business through the Paycheck Protection Program, but has not received a response.