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Outdoor downtown Toledo dining amid fall weather

Since May many local bars and restaurants have shifted their dining options outdoors, to limit the spread of COVID-19. But as the temperatures get cooler, restaurants are having to adapt to the fall weather.
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 11:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - On a Friday night, thee Ye Old Durty Bird is packed, inside and out.

“We’re used to having seasonal patio weather as it starts to get a bit chiller, but as you can see there are still folks who want to enjoy until the very last minute, the outdoor dining experience," said General Manager Julie Ketterman.

The restaurant’s patio is filled with the sight of colorful drinks and heaping plates of food being delivered table to table outside.

“We’re going to be out here as long as it’s not snowing or raining, and if it’s a beautiful day like this no matter what we will be outside," said diner Tyler Ehert.

Customers sit outside and enjoy dinner at Ye Olde Durty Bird in downtown Toledo even with temperatures dipping down into the 50's.
Customers sit outside and enjoy dinner at Ye Olde Durty Bird in downtown Toledo even with temperatures dipping down into the 50's.(Jack Bassett)

University of Toledo sophomore Tyler Ehert is out with friends, taking advantage of the beautiful night. The group is eating and drinking on the patio, and explains they do not mind with the drop in temperature so far.

“We’re just taking advantage of the open dining being open, so we’re just enjoying our time here,” said Ehert.

Uptown Toledo is seeing a similar boom at Manhattan’s.

“It is a little bit chiller but we haven’t seen any sort of downturn on the activity in the street,… so far," said Owner Zach Lehey.

Not all restaurants are as lucky as Manhattan’s, Less than a block away on the same street, empty tables and no outdoor diners could be found at Carlos Poco Loco.

“It’s really quiet outside, I’m not surprised because it’s getting really chilly outside," said Manager Karel Gonzalez.

On Adams Steet, the city of Toledo has parts of the road closed on weekends to allow for outdoor dining for restaurants and bars to allow for social distracting. Poco Loco, Manhattan’s, and the Ottawa Tavern explain they rely on the closure, to keep customers safe and business rolling.

“We care about your health here, up and down this whole street, more than I’ve seen out of pretty much any other business in this pandemic, adam’s street cares about your health," said Zach Jacobs.

With restriction’s on the number of diners allowed inside bars and restaurants, as well as the state of Ohio mandated shutdown of alcohol sales at 10 PM, Ottawa Tavern owner Zack Jacobs is asking guests to come out more than ever, and dine outside, even in colder weather.

The owner of the Ottawa Tavern, Zack Jacob's stands in front of its empty patio, pleading for the community to come out and support local businesses."
The owner of the Ottawa Tavern, Zack Jacob's stands in front of its empty patio, pleading for the community to come out and support local businesses."(Jack Bassett)

“You live in Toledo Ohio, you probably have a very beautiful windbreaker or a pullover jacket that you could wear and still come out and comfortable support local businesses that need your support right now more than ever, who are doing everything they can to keep you safe," said Jacobs.

According to Adams Street bar and restaurant owners, there currently is no time table for how long sections of the road will remain closed however, they hope to see customers take advantage of the blocked-off street and enjoy a socially distant safe way to dine outdoors.

Restaurants and bars on Adams street also explain that they are currently considering adding heaters and possibly tents to welcome guests into the colder months moving forward.

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