A group of artists were paid to paint temporary murals over the boarded-up windows of the Ohio Theatre on June 2, 2020, after it was damaged during protests.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Central Ohio lost tens of thousands of jobs and many small businesses in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bill Lafayette, economist and founder of Regionomics, says the COVID-19 vaccine offers hope that the economy can recover in 2021.

With the arrival of winter and the U.S. coronavirus outbreak in full swing, the restaurant industry expected to lose more than $230 billion in 2020 is clinging to techniques for sustaining outdoor dining even through the cold and vagaries of a U.S. winter.

How Ohio Restaurants Can Survive The Pandemic

Dec 22, 2020
Cecelia Brockett, left, and Courtney Barefoot enjoy a lunch at the Winking Lizard Tavern, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

The restaurant industry has been battered by the pandemic. Three out of five Ohio restaurants surveyed said they are at risk of closing permanently without additional government aid.

The new stimulus bill could provide a lifeline, but many in the industry are worried it will be too little too late.

Ohio Investigative Unit

A nightclub on Columbus's far East Side is under investigation by state officials for a "flagrant" violation of COVID-19 health restrictions over the weekend. 

A McDonald's billboard in Kentucky.
BlueMauMau / Flickr

Columbus City Council is expected to pass a resolution requiring restaurants to make healthy drinks the default options offered with kids’ meals at restaurants.

In the best of times, service industry workers are typically paid below the minimum wage and rely on tips to make up the difference. Now, those still working in an industry battered by the coronavirus pandemic are on the front lines, enforcing COVID-19 safety measures at the expense of both tip earnings and avoiding harassment.

Get ready for one of the most unpredictable monthly jobs reports in a while.

The pandemic has come roaring back, filling hospitals with coronavirus patients, while restaurants and retail shops empty out.

That is expected to put a squeeze on job gains: Forecasters expect a report Friday from the Labor Department will show that U.S. employers added fewer workers in November than the 638,000 created a month earlier.

How much less is uncertain as the pandemic makes it hard to forecast economic indicators.

Cecelia Brockett, left, and Courtney Barefoot enjoy a lunch at the Winking Lizard Tavern, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Ohio’s restaurants and bars say Congress needs to get to work immediately to give them more federal dollars to offset the losses associated with the pandemic.

Gov. Mike DeWine issued a 10 p.m. curfew last week in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Lots of bar and restaurant owners are concerned the curfew will cut even deeper into their bottom line. But one bar owner in Fairborn has found a way to keep his operation profitable.

BrewDog in Franklinton offered carryout food when bars and restaurants were closed, but has since reopened for service.
David Holm / WOSU

Columbus City Council wants to cap fees charged by third-party restaurant delivery companies as a way to help restaurants survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Farinacci Pizza in Hudson, the dining room has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kabir Bhatia / WKSU

Gov. Mike DeWine has stopped short of issuing a statewide shutdown, opting instead for a business curfew between 10 p.m.-5 a.m. The decision was driven in part by concerns over the possible impact of a shutdown on the state’s struggling restaurant industry.

Cecelia Brockett, left, and Courtney Barefoot enjoy a lunch at the Winking Lizard Tavern, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

To combat the state's renewed surge of coronavirus cases, Ohio is issuing a curfew that requires most retail establishments to close from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

Gov. Mike DeWine says the curfew will take effect Thursday, Nov. 19 and last for 21 days, after which point the order will be re-evaluated.

Some Ohio restaurants are now requiring guests wear masks at the drive-thru window, following Gov. Mike DeWine’s latest mask and social distancing orders announced during his statewide address last week.

With Ohio in the third week of COVID hospitalizations setting a new record each day, Gov. Mike DeWine laid out two new health orders and previewed the possibility of a limited shutdown. The announcement got mixed reviews from state lawmakers.

As Ohio continues to report record-breaking rates of COVID-19 cases, Kent State public health professor Tina Bhargava says Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and other state and local leaders need to consider closing some businesses to stem the surge in cases.

Some shutdowns are needed to get COVID-19 under control in Ohio, Bhargava said.