(WYTV) – Earlier this week, First News told you about a state representative from Canfield who filed legislation that would remove the 10 p.m. alcohol restriction on bars and restaurants. On Sunday, both Al Cutrona and a Youngstown bar said they hope the mandate is lifted.
“Having to close at 10 o’clock is hurting all of the bars because some of the bars around here don’t even start getting motivated until 10:30 or 11,” said Lori Greenwalt, manager of East Side Civics on Midlothian Blvd.
Now, a state representative of Canfield is doing his part to remove the 10 p.m. alcohol restriction on bars and restaurants.
“This here is essential for your bar and restaurant owners. Right now, they’re struggling, and limiting their hours of operation has been stressful for them and the area here,” said Al Cutrona, State Representative of the 59th District.
Cutrona says small businesses are not only the lifeblood of the Valley but throughout the country.
He explained why it’s important for them to continue to provide their services.
“They supply so many different jobs, from the bartender to those in the kitchen and everyone across the board. So, this is really important so they can continue to do what they do, allow for their doors to stay open and continue to be an important part of our community,” Cutrona said.
However, the governor and the Ohio Liquor Board feel serving alcohol later can contribute to the spread of the virus.
Greenwalt says they’ve adjusted with the times, now serving breakfast to stay afloat, but the money she’s lost from the 10 p.m. mandate is starting to add up.
“At the end of the day, we’re losing money. We do need to open at our regular time. I don’t see how the time limit hurts the coronavirus if you catch it at 10 or 1 a.m., so I don’t get it,” Greenwalt said.
“Ten o’clock is not where the virus magically appears and we need to get home before midnight. It doesn’t make sense, and that’s why this is important because it makes sense legislation and it’s common sense legislation,” Cutrona said.
The bill was filed with several co-sponsors and is awaiting formal introduction.
However, Cutrona says if it doesn’t go through, they will continue to find other avenues to assist small businesses in the area.