Liquor commission shuts off alcohol sales at 10 p.m.

By Scott Halasz -

XENIA — The emergency rule passed by the Ohio Liquor Control Commission Friday morning cutting off liquor sales at 10 p.m. may have a limited effect on some popular area establishments.

The commission adopted the rule unanimously, a day after Gov. Mike DeWine said cutting off liquor sales at 10 p.m. and consumption at 11 a.m. will help slow the spread of COVID-19. DeWine signed an executive order Friday afternoon immediately adopting the rule.

Amanda Rosengarten, manager of Nick’s Restaurant in Xenia, said the restaurant was already operating on shortened hours.

“We were just keeping restaurant hours, not bar hours,” she said. “We’re trying to keep things as normal as possible. We want everybody to be comfortable. We’re following all the rules.”

The restaurant and bar both close at 9 p.m. during the week and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Xenia Moose Lodge #1629 bar manager Angel Harvey said the lodge is open until 10 p.m. during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends.

“That’s where it’s going to hurt us a little bit,” she said, adding that business doesn’t start picking up until around 8 or 9 p.m.

“It beats being closed down,” she said. “We’re happy to be able to stay open.”

Bentino’s Pizza in Jamestown only stays open past 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and owner Jason Garringer said his business won’t be impacted too greatly.

However he is concerned for business owners who pay a premium to stay open until 2:30 a.m. as opposed to 1 a.m.

“The state comes around and says you can’t do that,” Garringer said. “They’re out of business, they’re closing down.”

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce website, liquor licenses with a 1 a.m. cutoff time cost between $376 to $938 a year. A D5 license, which allows for sales and consumption until 2:30 a.m., costs $2,344 annually.

Devil Wind Brewery, a popular downtown Xenia stop for craft beer lovers, has been closing no later than 9 p.m. since reopening. Brewer/co-founder Doug Lane said the business won’t be impacted at all.

The new rule also allows bars and restaurants to increase the number of to-go alcoholic drinks from two to three with a to-go meal.

By Scott Halasz

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.