Kent business owners celebrate Ohio curfew extension

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Ohio curfew has been extended from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Kent businesses are extending their hours.

Chloe Zofchak Reporter

As of Jan. 28, Ohio’s curfew has been extended from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. due to the hospitalization numbers staying below 3,500 for seven days straight. 

Downtown Kent businesses have been forced to adapt to COVID-19 protocols, including the 10 p.m. curfew. Instead of staying open until late at night, restaurants like Ray’s Place and The Pub have been forced to close early. 

Charlie Thomas, the owner of Ray’s Place in Kent, said the curfew has hurt the restaurant considerably. Thomas explained the many changes Ray’s Place has gone through since the curfew began. The restaurant has spaced out dining tables, raised the booth dividers and is only allowing half capacity in the restaurant. 

The Pub in Kent has faced similar problems. The restaurant is limited to 28 people inside at once. “Our business is cut in half,” said Becky Lindsey, the owner of the Pub in Kent. 

Both owners agree on one thing: the curfew extension is bringing some relief and hope. 

Thomas expressed excitement about the curfew extension because customers are able to stay longer. He also expects it to bring more young people into the establishment. 

Lindsey was excited to hear about the 11 p.m. curfew. She explained how the extension gives the restaurant the opportunity to serve more customers. 

Ray’s Place and The Pub in Kent plan to continue extending their hours as the curfew becomes less strict. With the hope of a midnight curfew on the horizon, both owners expressed their gratitude and optimism for the future. 

“I have a lot of respect for the governor. He is trying to be fair but is also concerned,” Thomas said. “If it will help end the pandemic, I will do whatever [it takes].” 

Chloe Zofchak covers the City of Kent. Contact her at [email protected]