Comune is a restaurant on Parsons Avenue in Columbus.
Courtesy of Comune

Gov. Mike DeWine announced plans Thursday to reopen restaurants and hair services this month. Salons and barbershops can open on May 15, and restaurants can begin outdoor dining the same day. Indoor dining can begin a week later, on May 21.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday unveiled dates and guidelines for reopening bars and restaurants, as well as barber shops, hair salons and other personal care businesses that have been closed for more than 50 days due to stay-at-home orders over the coronavirus pandemic.

Chef Tom Colicchio is one of the many restaurateurs wondering what will be left of the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic has run its course.

Once Ohio reopens restaurants for dine-in service, Brandon Chrostowski, founder of Edwins Restaurant in Shaker Square, says he’ll be running two restaurants where there used to be one.

“One restaurant will be dine-in and that will take up 60 percent of the restaurant with table space,” Chrostowski said. “And the other 30 to 40 percent of the restaurant will be where our pickup area is going to be.”

An encouraging message displayed on the marquee at the Newport music venue reads "We will get through this Cbus."
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

With the percentage of unemployed workers in Franklin County now in the double digits, some local business leaders say it will take time before the city returns to full economic strength.

A semi-truck rolls into the rest stop off I-71 near Sunbury.
Leticia Wiggins / WOSU Public Media

Hot meals are few and far between for truck drivers on the road. Even as truckers remain essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have been limited to pickup or drive-through only.

“You can’t take an 18-wheeler through a drive-through,” says Tom Balzer, president of the Ohio Trucking Association.

A sign for carryout only hangs on a door leading into The Original Pancake House, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Woodmere Village, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / AP

Ohio’s dine-in restaurants are not among the businesses that will resume in a few days. Restaurants are asking Gov. Mike DeWine to allow them to open mid-May.

Gov. Mike DeWine holds up a face mask at a press conference April 6, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has unveiled plans to allow some businesses to begin reopening after Ohio's current stay-at-home order expires on May 1.

Tom Chang, owner of the Tiger + Lily restaurant in Columbus, says he's applied for two kinds of federal relief and so far hasn't received any.
Nick Evans / WOSU

President Trump signed another coronavirus relief package into law Friday. The bulk of that nearly $484 billion sum goes to the Small Business Administration, the agency tasked with getting money in the hands of companies struggling during the ongoing pandemic.

Shake Shack is returning a $10 million federal loan after the Paycheck Protection Program that was meant to help small businesses ran out of money in less than two weeks of operation. The burger chain and other large businesses were able to get the money because the program covers any company with fewer than 500 workers in a single location.

Mayor Andrew Ginther tours the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Greater Columbus Convention Center

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is working with public officials and Gov. Mike DeWine on a plan for economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

The usually-bustling Short North has been empty as Ohio shut down all but essential
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The Ohio Restaurant Association has set up an employee relief fund for restaurant and hospitality workers with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

How Safe Is It To Eat Takeout?

Apr 8, 2020

Don Schaffner had Thai takeout for dinner a few nights ago, just as he did occasionally in the weeks and months before the current COVID-19 pandemic.

That's worth knowing. Schaffner is a distinguished professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey whose expertise includes quantitative microbial risk assessment, predictive food microbiology, hand-washing and cross-contamination.

alcohol poured into a shot glass

Ohio restaurants have not been able to serve mixed drinks and straight liquor since the state put a stop to in-person dining last month. Now, the state is making a change to its rules that will allow restaurants to serve those drinks along with take-out meals.

Huong Pham and Twee Win run Huong Vietnamese Restaurant on Columbus' North Side.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Many food establishments are facing tough choices as they approach the third week of Ohio's shutdown of bars and dine-in restaurants. In the Columbus area, some are offering carryout service to keep their business alive, while others are laying off all their employees.