Sam's Wedge Inn in Austintown

Valley restaurants hope to get government assistance in order to keep doors open

The rise in COVID-19 cases and the governor’s curfew have some restaurants concerned about their bottom line

Credit: WKBN

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new survey by the National Restaurant Association says that one in six bars and restaurants will close if they don’t get immediate help from the government.

In Ohio, Valley restaurants have also been dealing with Governor Mike DeWine’s 10 p.m. curfew.

Although many restaurants across the Valley have managed to stay open during the coronavirus outbreak, the rise in COVID-19 cases and the governor’s curfew have them concerned about their bottom line.

The Valley’s restaurants were able to keep the customers coming in thanks to the safety precautions they took.

“People feel really safe coming here. We take really good precautions. We set the tables far enough apart. We take their temperatures when they walk in,” said Cassandra Martin, with El Cowboy.

They were also able to make it through the summer thanks to take-out business.

“The summer months actually were pretty solid for us. We obviously were down some dine-in sales versus where we were at last year,” said Nate Tomko, operations manager for Sam’s Wedge Inn.

Now, the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise and Gov. DeWine will likely extend the curfew to limit crowds in the state’s bars and restaurants.

Tomko thinks that strategy only works well in places near college campuses.

“We were never that busy later in the evening, so it’s just really kind of hurting us,” he said.

Like many restaurants, Tomko says Sam’s Wedge Inn may need help from the government to stay open.

“We’re going to need help in some way from somebody in order to get through this. I wholeheartedly agree that I think that a whole lot of bars and restaurants will not survive this,” he said.

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