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Bars and restaurants statewide will close until further notice

<p>Brick Street Bar and Grill has implemented new COVID policies for both employees and customers. </p>

Brick Street Bar and Grill has implemented new COVID policies for both employees and customers.

Ohio bars and restaurants have closed their doors indefinitely. 

Earlier on Sunday,  Gov. Mike DeWine announced all Ohio establishments would be forced to shut down by 9 p.m..  These closures will impact Miami University students’ annual Green Beer Day festivities, which were scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19. Restaurants are still allowed to operate through delivery and carry-out only.  

The closings come after DeWine’s announcement earlier this week that banned congregations of more than 100 people in auditoriums, stadiums, arenas and large conference rooms. In an effort to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus, DeWine decided to eliminate further risk by closing bars and restaurants.

Days before the announcement, Oxford’s Assistant City Manager Jessica Greene, with guidance from the Butler County Health Department, wrote a letter to Oxford restaurant and bar owners clarifying the City of Oxford’s interpretation of the mass gathering ban. 

“Restaurants/bars that have over 100 people present in their establishment and are not able to maintain a six-foot distance between persons are in violation of the Director’s Order,” she wrote.  “This creates a risk of continued spreading of the virus and is not consistent with social distancing practices being recommended by health professionals. They are asking that businesses voluntarily comply with this order so that their resources are not taken away with the task at hand.” 

Bars — including Brick Street — had begun limiting attendance to 100 people over the weekend. 

Hours before Dewine’s announcement, a few Uptown bars announced the cancellation of their GBD activities.  

“We will re-open as soon as practical!” 1868 wrote on its Instagram page. “Our hearts break for the on-campus academic year being cut short.”

“Green Beer Day holds a special spot in the memories of current Miami students and alumni,” Brick Street wrote on Instagram. “However, if we can’t create the kind of experience that our great customers have come to expect, then we are not comfortable moving forward.” 

The Wood’s and Pachinko’s are also adhering to DeWine’s mandate and will be closing their doors and canceling any planned Green Beer Day celebrations. In an effort to prevent his managers from being unemployed, owner Ted Wood has plans for a delivery service at his restaurant Left Field Tavern.

“My managers are in a panic right now,” Wood said. “They’re counting on their paychecks. I mean, it’s such an uncharted territory. We’re going to do what we can. If I can keep the managers busy so that they can get paid and we can help the community being a local business and help them by delivering food, we are trying to think of anything we can do to help and to keep the places afloat until classes [resume].”

Students like senior Whitney Reddan think that the closure of Uptown bars is unfortunate but would rather not risk getting sick. 

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“I think if it has to happen, it has to happen,” Reddan said. “It would be weird to have them close, but that is such an easy place to get sick … I’d rather not get it if that means I don’t have to go to a bar for my senior year.” 

However, some students are not so quick to give up the festivities.

“[For seniors,] it’s going to be our last Green Beer Day,” senior Johnae Mills said. “[As for the] restaurants, that’s going too far. People still have to eat. There’s still people right here in Oxford. Not just students.”