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Two Cincinnati restaurant owners balk at reopening for dining

CINCINNATI — The owners of the Northside Yacht Club and Fireside Pizza in Walnut Hills say they may not reopen for inside dining when they’re allowed to on May 21.

Stuart MacKenzie, owner of Northside Yacht Club, says he's not happy with Gov. Mike DeWine’s requirements.

“For us it seems really backwards,” said MacKenzie. “To open up and install all the social distancing stuff would cost a lot of money. We haven’t been open, so we don’t have money to make these improvements.

“We’ve already been forced to close. Now it feels like we’re being forced to open in a way that we’re not going to be able to make money.”

MacKenzie said he has to hire extra staff to limit the number of people in the building, make sure they are properly distanced and wearing masks, and ensure that tables are 6 feet apart.

“Like four different staff members just to make one-fourth of what we would make,” MacKenzie said.

Sam Dobrozsi, owner of Fireside Pizza, said he’s going to wait and watch.

“As far as opening our dining room, we’re not going to do that anytime soon,” Dobrozsi said.

Dobrozsi said his business hasn’t suffered from the carryout-only option.

“We’re going to allow the other people in town to open. We’re going to want to see what strategies they follow and kind of try to learn from what they do,” Dobrozsi said.

“What is right for one restaurant might not be right for another. There is no one solution that fits all.”

Restaurants are permitted to resume outdoor dining on May 15.

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