Local bar and restaurant owners on edge as possibility of another shutdown looms


CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland bar and restaurant owners are on edge over the possibility of being shut down again.

“I can’t afford for you to close me down again, you close me down again, I’m gonna hand my keys to the landlord,” said Brian Gresham, general manager of True Cocktails and Bites on the East Bank of The Flats.

Gresham says the statewide coronavirus shutdown this spring was already challenging for his bar and restaurant. He says another one would be devastating.

“These employees depend on me for gainful employment, this is how they pay their car notes, their house notes, this is how they feed their family,” he said.

Governor Mike DeWine says he will announce next week whether he will close Ohio bars, restaurants and fitness centers because of the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases across the state.

“I understand what the governor is trying to do… but at the same time, all the restaurants and bars do need to survive,” said Dominic Fanelli, owner of Chocolate Bar on Euclid Avenue downtown.

Fanelli agrees another shutdown would be devastating. He says over the next week, he will try to prepare for having to possibly close his doors again.

“We need the help of the general public to still come into the restaurants and bars, patronize us, wearing a mask… support us during, these times, it’s been a very challenging year for everyone,” he said.

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