Dayton-area restaurants were scrambling today to determine how the Dayton water crisis will impact their lunch and dinner plans.
A revised boil-advisory map released by Montgomery County officials mid-morning showed a significantly reduced boil-advisory area that no longer included downtown Dayton, the Oregon District, the UD area, and most of the county’s most populous south suburbs. But some restaurant managers and owners were still analyzing what steps they needed to take before re-opening fully.
Even in areas that have been cleared, Amy Zahora, executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, said several restaurants plan to take extra precaution to ensure guest safety for 24 hours.
Liz Valenti, chef and owner of Wheat Penny Oven and Bar in the Oregon District and Meadowlark Restaurant in Montgomery County’s Washington Twp., said she and her partners began game planning how to deal with the water disruption last night and met today at 7:30 a.m.
Like Mother’s Day and New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day is a major day for restaurants.
“We really wanted to hit the ground running. We are hyper-vigilant,” Valenti said. “I didn’t want one thing to foul-up service for my staff.”
Soda lines have been flushed and ice has been burned.
Canned pop and bottle water will be served to guests as a precaution, Valenti said.
Little York Tavern, 4120 Little York Road in Vandalia, is among the restaurants who still under a boil advisory.
Myka Marlowe, a member of the restaurant’s management team, said the tavern plans to be open as normal tonight, trivia night.
Marlowe said glasses have been sanitized and bottled water and soda secured. Food will be served on plastic plates, she said.
The owners of Table 33 in downtown Dayton said on the restaurant’s Facebook page this morning, “We are working to meet the necessary requirements to open for lunch today! We will be OPEN FOR DINNER! Stay tuned for more details.”
Company 7 BBQ in Englewood emailed customers assuring them the restaurant was not affected by the water problem, and the 2nd Street Market also said it will be open regular hours today. Bargos Grill & Tap in Centerville also said they were not impacted, and Olive Mediterranean Grill posted on its Facebook page that it would be open for lunch and dinner. Griller B’s Food Truck and The Barrel House will be open normal hours on Valentine’s Day.
The Starbucks on Brown Street near the University of Dayton was closed this morning, and customers were being told store officials were checking with city and health officials on when the store can and should reopen. Online orders to that Starbucks location were being re-routed to the Oakwood Starbucks on Far Hills Ave. this morning. An employee said the UD Starbucks appeared to be the only location impacted, and as of 10 a.m., there was no projected reopening time.
Old Scratch Pizza announced on Facebook it will be open regular hours today and would be giving out complimentary bottled water to diners even though the restaurant is located outside the boil-advisory zone.
In an email sent to the restaurant associaton’s Zahora Wednesday night, Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County officials outlined instructions restaurants should follow.
“If facilities do not have water, they may not operate. If they are under a boil order, which is very likely, there are certain steps they need to take to continue to operate,” health officials said.
Zahora told this news outlet this morning that she monitored the situation overnight and spent much of the morning fielding messages from concerned eatery owners and diners. She expressed relief that much of the county is no longer under the boil advisory.
“Thank goodness Montgomery County has gotten it under control so Valentine’s Day can go off without a hitch,” she said.
Zahora said she knows of no restaurant that plans to cancel its Valentine’s Day service.
Some restaurants are sharing some humor about the situation. In a post this morning, Archer’s Tavern in Kettering wrote this:
Happy Valentine's Day! We have been monitoring the Montgomery County Boil Alert and have been taking appropriate precautions. According to https://www.mcohio.org/water/, we are not located within the boundaries of the Boil Alert and are planning on opening without interruption today! Just in case you are still nervous about the drinking water, our beer, wine and spirits are 100% safe to drink without concern of contamination. We always try to have enough beer, wine and liquor on hand for such an emergency. Be Safe -- Drink Beer!
Restaurants, if your lunch or dinner service has been impacted today, please send us the details at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook.