Willoughby bar owner petitions to stay open for upcoming Browns, Buckeyes games


Owner argues COVID-19 rules followed better at bars than in homes

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WJW) – A local bar owner started a petition in an effort to convince Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to allow bars and restaurants to stay open past the 10 p.m. curfew so Browns and Buckeyes fans can go to their favorite tavern and watch the entire games.

“It’s the playoffs for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and the National Championship for Ohio State on Monday,” said Dan Budreo, owner of Craggy Bogland’s Irish Pub in Willoughby. “The Cleveland Browns and the Ohio State Buckeyes both have  games that  start at 8 p.m. so the way it is now with the curfew, when it’s halftime, everyone’s got to leave.”

Budreo said he understands the curfew was put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. He said he believes, however, if bars can’t stay open during the playoff and national championship game, a lot of people will attend house parties and won’t be following recommendations to help slow the spread of the disease.

“Here, we will make sure everyone wears a masks, and there is social distancing,” Budreo said. “At a house party, you could have 20 people, nobody wearing a mask and they are all sitting on couches together. It doesn’t make sense not to allow for a variance for two nights. “

Dan Tierney, press secretary, for DeWine, said he does not anticipate the governor granting a variance for bars.

“Our advice for fans, is yes patronize those businesses and take advantage of the carryout options,” Tierney said. “You can carry out food and beverages under Ohio law. So if you would have gone there to gather, you can still patronize and get food and beverage. Just take it home and keep get togethers small, like it was done at Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Budreo said he posted the petition on his bar’s Facebook page. He said he has already received close to 200 signatures. He said he plans to send it to the governor soon.

“Browns fans want to celebrate safely together,” Budreo said. “We have been waiting for this for 18 years.”

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