Ohio Restaurants, Bars Ask Congress for Immediate Help

Faced with continued closures, layoffs and an upcoming extension of a statewide curfew, Ohio restaurants and bars want Congress to move quickly to pass relief.

In a letter to Ohio’s U.S. senators as well as the House and Senate leadership, the Ohio Restaurant Association said things are worsening in the state and asked for a return to negotiations.

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Despite No COVID-19 Case Clusters Since June, Nashville Limits Restaurants to 50 Percent Capacity

Nashville’s restaurants are limited to 50% capacity and subject to a 10 p.m. curfew on food and beverage service despite no record of COVID-19 case clusters being connected to a restaurant since June.

The new restrictions by Nashville’s Metro Public Health Department, which were announced last week by Mayor John Cooper, went into effect Monday.

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Ohio’s Largest City Wants to Cap Delivery Fees for Restaurants

With Ohioans facing an ongoing curfew and continued pressure from Gov. Mike DeWine to stay at home, the state’s largest city plans to take steps to help both restaurants and their customers.

In an effort to help small businesses and the restaurant community, the Columbus City Council announced plans for legislation to cap third-party delivery services, according to President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and Council President Shannon G. Hardin.

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Judge Denies Temporary Restraining Order in Michigan Restaurant’s Lawsuit Over Three-Week Dine-in Ban

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney on Friday denied a request for a temporary restraining order to block Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Robert Gordon’s orders that is shuttering indoor dining service for three weeks.

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Gov. Walz Signals Tightening of COVID-19 restrictions on Bars and Restaurants

Gov. Tim Walz hinted Monday he would enact targeted restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 but didn’t describe the new rules planned. 

Walz said the state health department had identified three major infection sources of spread: social gatherings, bars and restaurants.

It appears as if those restrictions will mostly affect bars and restaurants. 

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State Backs Down on Requirement Restaurants Deny Entry to Customers Who Don’t Give Contact Tracing Info

The state of Michigan eased a requirement that restaurants deny entry to customers who don’t give their contact information for contact tracing after a civil liberties group stepped in.

The new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) FAQ page only recommends facilities deny entry to customers who refuse to provide contact information to the restaurant.

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Another Restaurant Chain, Friendly’s, Hits Wall in Pandemic

Friendly’s Restaurants, the 85-year-old East Coast dining chain known for its Fribble milkshakes and ice cream sundaes, is filing for bankruptcy protection.

It joins a growing list of well-established restaurant chains that are failing due to an unchecked pandemic in the United States.

George Michel, CEO of FIC Restaurants Inc., Friendly’s parent company, said COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic impact” on operations. FIC will sell essentially all of its assets to the restaurant company Amici Partners Group.

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State Requires Restaurants to Get Customer Contact Information for Dine-in Starting Monday

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is imposing more restrictions on indoor areas beginning Monday.

“The only way to beat COVID is to act on what we’ve learned since March,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said in a statement. “Wear masks. Keep six feet of distance. Wash hands. And avoid the indoor get-togethers where we have seen COVID explode.”

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New York City Could Lose Half of All Bars, Restaurants

The Daily Caller reports, New York City could see up to half its restaurants and bars close permanently in the next six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new audit released Thursday from the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“New York City’s bars and restaurants are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances and many eateries operate on tight margins. Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever,” DiNapoli said, according to an official statement.

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New York City Says Outdoor Dining Will Become ‘Permanent and Year-Round’

New York City plans to make its flourishing outdoor dining economy a permanent fixture of the city’s landscape going forward, municipal officials said in a press release on Friday. 

The city’s “Open Restaurants” program, which has enrolled thousands of establishments since it debuted in June, “will be extended year-round and made permanent,” the city announced in the press release.

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No Credible Evidence to Support Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s July Shutdown of Bars and Reduction of Restaurant Capacity, Despite Bullying Tactics by His Administration

When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. But he failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19.

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Walz Stumbles Incoherently Over Explanation for Why Churches Are Limited to 10 People, But Restaurants Can Host 50

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that bars and restaurants can now host up to 50 people for outdoor dining, but churches are still required to limit both indoor and outdoor services to 10 people.

The governor was asked during his Wednesday press briefing why restaurants can host 40 more people than churches for outdoor gatherings.

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Bonfire Restaurants Latest COVID Casualty, Announces Permanent Closure of All Locations

Bonfire Restaurants announced Friday that it will permanently close all five of its Minnesota locations because of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement that its locations in Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage, and Woodbury will not be reopening.

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Ohio Health Czar Acton Extends Dining Provisions Until July 1, Gov. DeWine Assembles Restaurant Police Force to Threaten Removal of Liquor Licenses

Between Health Director Dr. Amy Acton sneaking in an extension of her dining orders until July 1 and Governor Mike DeWine assembling a restaurant police force, one may wonder if Ohio is really reopening.

Late last Thursday, following the final press conference of the week, Acton issued the “Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order,” which is available here. The order allowed outside restaurant dining as of last Friday. 

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Georgia’s Restaurants, Barber Shops Are Coming Back to Life as Lockdowns Ease, Data Show

Georgia’s restaurants and barber shops are seeing a slow but steady increase in traffic after Gov. Brian Kemp began easing up the economic lockdowns he imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, location data show.

Visits to the state’s barber shops and tattoo parlors increased to 80% of pre-coronavirus levels after Georgia began rolling back own stay-at-home orders on April 24, according to data released by Foursquare, a location technology platform. Data also show restaurants are on the rebound.

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Gov. DeWine Announces Bars, Restaurants and Personal Care Services Can Open on May 15 in Some Capacity

Ohioans waiting to go to bars, eat at restaurants, get their hair cut, or nails done will not have to wait much longer, as Gov. Mike DeWine announced that next Friday these businesses will open in some capacity.

“Reopening Ohio is a risk, but it’s also a risk if you don’t move forward. We’re on a dangerous road that has never been traveled before in Ohio and the danger is that we relax and stop taking precautions,” DeWine said. “All of us collectively control this. I ask you to take calculated risks and make good judgments. Continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing face coverings. If you aren’t concerned with what happens to you, do it for others.”

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Taskforce Will Help Develop Best Practices to Reopen Ohio’s Restaurants, Barbershops, Salons

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he is forming a pair of advisory groups tasked with developing best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops and salons.

The group will develop recommendations to protect the health of employees and customers as businesses reopen. It will be comprised of relevant business associations, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford; Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina; House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron; and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights.

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DeWine May Cut State Budgets by Up to 20 Percent, But Public Sector Cannot Match Loss of Private Sector’s 188K Lost Jobs

Even as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine orders state departments to cut up to 20 percent of their budgets and implement a hiring freeze, state workers are not feeling the coronavirus economic burn like the private sector.

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Governor Bill Lee Orders Bars And Restaurants to Close

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive action Sunday ordering the closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created both an economic and a health crisis and our response must continue to address both aspects,” Lee said in a statement. “Our goal is to keep the public, especially vulnerable populations, safe while doing everything possible to keep Tennesseans in a financially stable position.”

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Metro Councilman At-Large Steve Glover Urges City Officials to Think Through Decisions and Their Consequences as Music City Shuts Down

During the top of the third hour on Monday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, Metro Councilman Steve Glover gave his take on how he thought the city of Nashville may have made drastic decisions without thoroughly thinking through the consequences. He suggested that the city needs to look at the economic impact of all the things that have occurred to us over the last two to three weeks as our number one priority.

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STUDY: Minimum Wage Hikes Are Killing Jobs in California’s Poorest Communities

by Tim Pearce   California’s minimum wage increase has cost the state thousands of jobs worth of growth in the state’s booming restaurant industry, according to a recent study by the University of California Riverside. Delayed Effects California passed a bill in 2016 to bring the state’s minimum wage up to $15…

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