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Bars prepare for Browns, Buckeye games ahead of curfew

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Posted at 2:31 PM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 14:31:35-05

CLEVELAND — As the Browns and Buckeyes play their biggest games in years, bar owners will have to shut down halfway through the games because of the curfew.

Dina Walsh has owned Dina’s Pizza and Pub in Old Brooklyn for 35 years. Her dine-in business has been slashed by as much as 40% during the pandemic and could use a night where Buckeye and Browns fans flocked to the local establishments.

“Nobody wants to lose business or go out of business, it’s just crazy times for everybody,” Walsh said.

A 1 p.m. kickoff could’ve boosted sales, even during a pandemic. But the Browns drew a prime-time kickoff against the archrival Steelers, and by the time the second quarter rolls around patrons will be rolling home thanks to the curfew.

“The night game is hard because a lot of people aren’t even going to come in because they have to leave in the middle of a game, so that’s a big problem,” Walsh said.

The following night, Ohio State takes on Alabama for the National Championship, another late-night kickoff. It’s the first time the Buckeyes have played for a national title since 2015.

“I honestly think you’re safer coming out to a restaurant than you are at home, having your house parties," Walsh said. “Because at least when people are here, they’re wearing their mask, to go to the restroom.”

Bars and restaurants in Ohio asked Governor Mike DeWine for an exemption for the curfew for at least two nights. Back-to-back nights of big business could've been a Hail Mary, even during a pandemic.

“It’s critical for those that rely on tips. I had to cut the staff. Everyone is working but they’re just working less hours,” Walsh said.”

Fortunately, Dina’s has been surviving on take-out orders. They’ve also installed the customary plexiglass dividers at the bar and have even gone so far as to install a UV lighting system in the HVAC unit.

“It’s been 18 years, people need something to live for, and in Cleveland, it’s the Browns,” Walsh said. “Have some faith that these business owners are taking it to the next level to keep you safe.”

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BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · TBD· At Jacksonville Jaguars (TBD/News 5 Cleveland)
WEEK 2 · TBD · New York Giants (TBD/News 5 Cleveland)
WEEK 3 · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (NBC)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)

WEEK 2 · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (CBS)

WEEK 3 · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (FOX)

WEEK 4 · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (CBS)

WEEK 5 · Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (CBS)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (FOX)

WEEK 7 · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (CBS)

WEEK 11 · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (FOX)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (NBC)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

WEEK 15 · Dec. 18/19 · TBD Las Vegas Raiders (TBD)

WEEK 16 · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 17 · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)