Plan to end Ohio alcohol sales at 10 p.m. a ‘crushing blow,’ local bar owner says

Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced an emergency rule that, if approved, would cut off Ohio’s alcohol sales at 10 p.m. every night in liquor-permitted establishments.

One local bar owner called the plan “a crushing blow” to businesses fighting to survive.

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission will have an emergency meeting at 9 a.m. Friday on the proposed rule.

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If it is approved, DeWine said he intends to sign an executive order that would make it effective Friday night.

“The businesses can stay open – but we believe that stopping alcohol sales at 10 p.m. for onsite consumption will help thin out the crowd and help slow the spread,” the governor said.

The rule would require consumption of alcohol to end by 11 p.m.

“The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors,” DeWine said. “Patrons either stay at one location, sometimes for hours or bar hop. Either way, they interact with many different people - especially the younger crowd.”

Steve Tieber, owner of The Dublin Pub in Dayton’s Oregon District, said many of the smaller bars in the Oregon District and elsewhere in downtown Dayton depend heavily on late-night weekend sales to survive.

“This is going go be a crushing blow to a lot of businesses, especially since the financial assistance is gone,” Tieber said. “Now you’re probably going to see owners who have to take out loans just to keep their businesses open.”

The governor said he also requested that the liquor commission increase the number of liquor and mixed drinks that can be bought with to-go meals from two drinks to three.

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