West Carrollton restaurant El Meson had been doing a booming carryout and delivery business during the last two weeks after the coronavirus pandemic shut down its dining room and all other restaurants’ dine-in services across Ohio in mid March.
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But El Meson co-owner Bill Castro said in a post on El Meson’s Facebook page Wednesday night that his family has decided to temporarily shut down the restaurant until the pandemic passes and the current stay-at-home edict is lifted.
Castro said health concerns were the driving factor behind the shutdown.
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“It has been a very difficult decision, but we know that it’s the best for our customers, our family, and of course our staff,” Castro said in a video attached to the Facebook announcement. “We will be back very, very soon.”
The statewide stay-at-home order does exempt restaurants offering carryout and delivery and allows residents to venture out to pick up food for themselves and their families.
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Dayton-area restaurants have had mixed levels of success as carryout- and-delivery-only operations. Some restaurants that are still operating carryout and delivery have cut back on their hours or number of days they are providing the service. Others, including The Pine Club, Tanks Bar & Grill and China Cottage, have decided to cease operations until the stay-at-home order is lifted. But hundreds of restaurants, from chains to independents, remain open for carryout, no-contact curbside pickup, and delivery, also often available as no-contact.
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El Meson had been offering family-style dinners on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for curbside pickup and delivery. Long lines of cars formed during some of the hours the meals were offered.
Castro said the restaurant will launch “Friday watch parties” on social media to share cooking demonstrations and recipes for El Meson favorites, give away gift certificates and spotlight a special cocktail each week.
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Located at 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton, the family-owned El Meson was launched 42 years ago, initially as a pizza shop. It expanded several times over the years and evolved into a destination restaurant featuring Mexican, Central American, South American and Spanish cuisines.
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