The Works, Paxton’s Grill, & Bishop’s Quarter along with other Downtown Loveland restaurants are making final preparations to open for in-person service on patio’s, rooftops, and sidewalk dining areas this Friday

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (May 13, 2020) – The Works owner Scott Gordon just finished a two-hour conference call on the topic of “Responsible Restart Ohio” hosted by the restaurant group that advised Ohio Governor DeWine before talking about plans to reopen this Friday. It was another of many steps in the process of preparing to welcome dining customers back for in-person service with safe distancing procedures for outdoor service.  

The Works Restaurant Loveland, OH (Chuck Gibson)

Governor DeWine and the State of Ohio announced plans for gradual reopening of businesses including retail and restaurants which began this week. Retail businesses were opened earlier this week. Restaurants and bars will open for outdoor dining only this Friday, May 15. “Responsible Restart Ohio” provided Gordon and others information on what has to be done to open. Is The Works ready to open?

“Absolutely! We are definitely ready,” said Gordon.

There have been some days he and his staff thought the break was kind of nice. It was a change of pace, doing different things, cleaning; a slower pace. Gordon found time to talk with employees he normally doesn’t get the chance to talk with.

“I think the novelty of that has all worn off,” Gordon said. “The servers, for sure, are ready. They are such social creatures by nature. They are all ready to talk to people again.”

Overhead view of The Works patio area set up to open Friday, May 15 (Chuck Gibson)

They’re eager to serve people, not just hand them carry-out orders. Gordon addressed the question of their readiness to deliver outdoor dining service safely to customers. He credits the health department for “putting out” useful information to get ready for customers. How do you wash your hands? When is appropriate to wear gloves? What types of cleaners will work? He says they are “absolutely” ready.

It was information proved during the two-hour conference call. They received guidelines for reopening outdoor dining first, and then the indoor dining room opening. The guidelines came from the Governor’s office listing mandatory

things for employers, and then recommended steps to protect staff and guests using common sense. They know the cleaners to use. Gordon says Loveland restaurants kind of stick together to stay on the same page.

“I’m glad they went that route,” Gordon said. “It gives each restaurant a little flexibility to operate. We’re kind of at that ‘perfect storm’ because we have servers, we have a hostess, and we have someone who comes in to professionally clean. We were kind of ahead of the game when it comes to making sure the place where the guest comes to sit is a safe clean space.”

Paxton’s Grill, Loveland, OH (Chuck Gibson)

Ramsey’s, like Tano’s and Bishop’s Quarter has rooftop and patio seating (Chuck Gibson)

“We are hoping to be ready,” said Dunnigan, as we talked on Saturday, May 9. “We’ll find out today. “It’s probably going to be three tables. None of our barstools will be out there – due to social distancing. It’ll probably be the menu we’re running right now to keep it slow and easy. We’re going to continue the carry-out and curb service. We have a plan for Friday.”

Dunnigan is taking a ‘wait and see’ approach working closely with the health department to determine what they can do. He does not foresee barstool seating for the immediate future and maybe beyond. It is an unknown.

Paxton’s Grill will have limited outdoor sidewalk seating, but continued curbside carry-out (Chuck Gibson)

“I don’t know, it’s a new regime, a new thing we’re creating altogether,” Dunnigan said. “I think packed bars and things like that are a thing of the past.”

Dunnigan sides with the most common theory that; once a vaccine is developed, it will be easier to gauge what restaurants and bars will look like for the future. He points further down the road maybe a year or two. It’s going to look different now.  They are planning ways for Paxton’s Grill to best serve customers – first outdoor, then indoor.

“We’ve already talked about getting all our barstools out of the bar, making that a restaurant section with two tables,” he explained, “two high-tops, four on each, six feet apart and go from there. These are tough times. What about the solo guy who just wants to come in and get a beer?”

Ramsey’s Trailside patio is ready for Friday, May 15 reopen (Chuck Gibson) 

Ramsey’s Trailside, part of the same owner group with Paxton’s Grill, has their outdoor patio all set for outdoor serving to begin Friday. Last Saturday, May 9, as the City of Loveland opened up the expanded DORA , staff at Bishop’s Quarter was working on improvements they plan for reopening as well as setting up the outdoor sidewalk, patio and rooftop dining spaces. General Manager Kevin Malone talked about their readiness to serve customers in person again.

“We’re thrilled,” said Malone. “We are pleasantly surprised.”

A lot of owners were anticipating what Governor DeWine would allow when he announced plans for reopening to begin last week. It was a little more aggressive than many anticipated. It was aggressive in a good way for Malone getting staff back to work.

Some Bishop’s Quarter staff already working on back patio with balcony and rooftop seating visible (Chuck Gibson)

More Bishop’s Quarter sidewalk & balcony seating on the side (Chuck Gibson) 

“We’re chomping at the bit,” Malone said. “We’re getting the exterior ready to go. We’re measuring distances between tables, trying to maximize seating in a safe environment.”

Malone echoed the sentiment of satisfaction expressed by Scott Gordon with the state giving restaurant and bar operator’s the freedom to create a safe environment within the guidelines of what has to be done. It will only be one week of outdoor dining before they are allowed to welcome guests back inside. It means while they are serving people outside all week, the staff and management will be simultaneously preparing the inside for guests to come back inside safely

Stairs lead the way to Tano’s rooftop seating (Chuck Gibson)

Bishop’s Quarter has a couple sidewalk tables out front too (Chuck Gibson) 

“We’re moving the area so when someone is seated back-to-back at tables there is six feet between them,” Gordon said about steps they’re taking at The Works. “It’s going to be an interesting 60 days, that’s for sure. We’re dealing with an unknown enemy.”

The one thing we all know now is The City of Loveland leaders, business owners and community is eager to come out of quarantine. Signs all around direct the community to do it as safely as possible. The week started with expanded DORA changes, then retail businesses opened up to customers, and the week will end with outdoor dining at Loveland restaurants and bars. 

Below is a list of links to some of the websites of some Downtown Loveland favorites: Click in for more information on their hours and outdoor seating.

Bon appetit Loveland!

Click here for The Works Restaurant

Click here for Paxton’s Grill

Click here for Ramsey’s Trailside

Click here for Bishop’s Quarter

Click here for Tano’s Bistro – Loveland