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Local restaurant switches gears to survive during pandemic

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 18:25:53-05

MEDINA, Ohio — For the second time in less than a year, Thyme2 is having to get creative to stay in business.

In March 2020, the restaurant had to shut down for indoor dining, along with everyone else, because of the state’s order. Now, with COVID-19 cases still rising, owner John Kolar is voluntarily closing his doors once again.

“This last wave of Covid cases after the holidays finally took its toll on us,” he said.

At one point, more than half of his staff was out, either because of positive tests or contact tracing. He decided to fully close down for a few days, but now, the restaurant is back open for takeout only.

Customers have two menus to choose from: a more upscale, fine-dining menu, with options like scallops, filet, or hanger steaks; or a more casual pub menu, featuring entrées of wood-fired pizza, roasted stuffed peppers, and hand-crafted burgers.

The restaurant is also continuing a popular concept it started last year: the family meal, which comes with an entrée, side, and dessert, either in individual portions or in a pack of four. This daily special is meant to invoke homecooked meals customers may remember from their childhoods, like beef stroganoff, meatloaf, or stuffed pork tenderloin.

“Through this whole pandemic, people look for food for comfort,” Kolar said. “So what I did is I just went back to my mom growing up and some of the dishes that she made that were comforting.”

Kolar said he is looking forward to the day when he can welcome customers back inside his restaurant. But until then, he says he is grateful for the chance to keep feeding his community.

“Everything that you give back, it seems that it’s really come back ten-fold for me,” he said, “and the support has been outpouring and it’s been very well-received.”

You can check out Thyme2’s menu and hours on its website.