The Works, Paxton’s, Ramsey’s & Tano’s are working closely to provide carryout, curbside pick-up and delivery for customers

By Chuck Gibson

 LOVELAND, OH (March 17, 2020) – Da Guinness and green beer is not flowing freely, there is no corned beef and cabbage special on the menu’s in your favorite Loveland food and watering hole this St. Patrick’s Day.

The Works Pizza Oven Restaurant is open for carryout and curbside delivery (PHoto Chuck Gibson) 

No, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered all Ohio restaurants and bars to shut down on premises dining and drinking as of 9:00 p.m. Sunday, March 15, as part of a wide-ranging effort to slow the spread and ultimately stop COVID-19. That order may have slowed business at the Loveland local eateries, but it has not stopped them from staying open to serve the public. The Works Pizza Oven restaurant owner Scott Gordon met with owners of Paxton’s and Ramsey’s along with Tano’s and Bishop’s Quarter early Sunday before the ordered closings.

 “All of us agree the welfare of everyone is paramount,” said Gordon. “This COVID-19 looks like if you have a pre-existing issue, or the elderly you are at risk. No one is callous enough to ignore that. Okay, we’re going to close all bars and restaurants in Ohio. I have 35 employees. What about them? How are they going to make a living?”

The questions begin there, but don’t end there. Is there a plan for lost wages? What about small business owners, like the owners of the restaurants and bars in and around Loveland? These are all questions of concern expressed by Scott Gordon and the entire group of owners.

 “We just went through the winter when we always have to scrape to get through,” Gordon said. “Now this is when our busy time starts. Now, not only is it not starting, but I don’t know if this is a hole we can dig out of. Getting a loan isn’t the answer. If I can’t afford to stay open, I can’t afford to pay a loan; even if it’s zero interest.”

Paxton’s Grill is open for carryout and curbside delivery (Provided)

While elected officials may sound good talking about planning with Small Business Association to fund low interest loans, it does not help them survive beyond the closing. For that matter, nobody can say for sure how long the closings will last. Gordon and the others in Loveland had to make the decision to stay open to offer carryout, curbside pick-up and even delivery.

 “We are the nation’s working poor,” he said. “It’s the blue-collar workers who are being hit hardest by this. I’ll be okay, I’ll figure something out. I am concerned. We’ve been open for 17 years. We’ve been doing a lot of things right, but it is a fragile industry.”

The General Manager’s, Cooks, Chefs, Servers, every member of the staff, the host and hostesses depend on their salaries and wages. Gordon said 35 employees, Ralph Dunnigan says Paxton’s has about 40 employees, similar numbers are likely at Ramsey’s, Tano’s, Bishop’s Quarter, not to mention Hometown Café, Narrow Path Brewery, Lyle’s, or the new Mile 42 Coffee and so many others. Those numbers add up quickly to a couple hundred PEOPLE, yes people who are responsible for not only their own well-being, but family.

 “Our sales have already taken a hit when all this started,” Gordon said. “Our sales are about half of what they usually are. We can’t afford to operate like that.”

Loveland LaRosa’s continues to offer carryout (Provided)

Sunday came to a close, more like a screeching halt, but with plans to stay open to serve customers any way they can with carryout.  Monday dawned and Gordon and the others were ready to serve, not just serving the customers, but helping keep employees working and earning wages. It was day one of carryout only. How did it go? What did it look like?

 “It was pretty bad,” said Gordon.

Ramsey’s Trailside was slow on day one of carryout only (Photo Chuck Gibson)

The group met over at Ramsey’s around two-o-clock Monday afternoon. Things didn’t look good to Gordon at the time. Tano’s was virtually dead, Ramsey’s was very slow, Paxton’s about half speed and The Works running at about 25 percent.

 “We all have the understanding this was day one,” Gordon said. “We can’t base it off this; don’t want to make any major reactions. Dave Kennedy was there. The city is putting some signs out for curbside pick-up. The city is getting involved to help us out.”

CeeCee Collins and the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance organized an effort for the group to “chip in” for a banner to help promote the curbside pick-up. They are working together trying to figure it out as they go.

“The key is we’re all in it together,” said Gordon. “Not just, as in the main restaurants down here, but the whole city of Loveland. We’re trying to figure out the best way to feed people; to feed people safely.”

They understand the situation. The social interaction piece is missing. Gordon and the group are meeting again Tuesday afternoon. They are all working diligently to find ways to keep serving the public, to keep their employees working. No stone is being left unturned, not even the “Blarney Stone” given the loss of the usual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Gordon and the others are all trying to find a way to deliver food in a safe manner to feed our community.

TAno’s Bistro before closing orders (Photo Chuck Gibson) 

“Now it’s just surviving,” he said. “We’ll get through this time period. We’re trying to keep each other in the loop on what we do. We’re trying to make everybody better. We’re just trying to figure it out.”

As Loveland local restaurants, bars and businesses work through figuring out how to serve the community, please continue to support them while keeping you and your family safe. The best way to stay up to date on what they are doing to serve you is check in with their websites and other social media outlets.  Here is links to just a few of the Loveland Locals for your convenience:

Click here for The Works Pizza

Click here for Paxton’s Grill

Click here for Ramsey’s Trailside

Click here for Tano’s Bistro

Click here for LaRosa’s Loveland

Click here for Bishop’s Quarter

Click here for Hometown Café Loveland

Click here for Narrow Path Brewery

Click here for Mile 42 Coffee