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A dining element returns to Downtown Sylvania

Element 112 reopens its dining room to indoor dining
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 7:26 PM EDT
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - A lot of businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic but many are finding ways to stay on their feet.

After a long six months, a unique dining experience in Sylvania finally has the option to enjoy your meal indoors.

“It’s a crazy day,” Element 112 executive chef and co-owner Chris Nixon said. “We’re hoping to feel a little more normal now.”

Normal for Element 112 the last few months was all outdoor dining on its patio. Nixon just finished renovating his dining room, except the floor is still a work in progress.

“The main way to get that done when you have no money coming in is to do it yourself,” Nixon said. “So I would teach myself on YouTube videos and then come back in and attempt to get it done.”

An expanded kitchen, a high-end air filtration system, and the elimination of a private dining room all contribute to a new look for Nixon’s space.

“What you see here is a reaction to COVID where I wasn’t going to let it bring down a fine dining restaurant,” Nixon said. “For me, I was determined to not let that become a problem.”

Nixon also eliminated another problem in this climate: a second restaurant. Next door to Element 112 was Next Door 112. It soon will be home to an art supply company.

“We have a downtown association and an art walk every month,” Sylvania economic development director Bill Sanford said. “I’m not surprised and I think that’s a good addition to the downtown.”

Sanford says the space where Element 112 sits today was home to different businesses before this farm-to-table dining option planted its roots eight years ago in October.

“We just have one main block of downtown and we’re really trying to extend it," Sanford said. “Element (112) being where it is really helps extend our downtown. There’s a lot more potential in that second block.”

As Nixon reintroduced indoor dining at Element 112, his menu also has a new look as the average meal tab drops.

“A lot of people are hurting -- not just restaurants,” Nixon said. “We didn’t want to be a very expensive restaurant right now. We even focused in on a burger being one of our number one selling items right now, and we just put a French twist on it.”

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