Wheat Penny in Dayton voluntarily halts indoor dining, citing COVID surge concerns

Wheat Penny in Dayton voluntarily halts indoor dining, citing COVID surge concerns

DAYTON — With Montgomery County now under a watch for Ohio’s highest level on its COVID-19 Public Health Advisory map, a Dayton restaurant has voluntarily closed its doors for indoor dining.

Wheat Penny Oven & Bar on Wayne Ave. announced Thursday evening it will temporarily be open only for outdoor dining, carry out, and potentially an expanded delivery service in the near future.

Owner and chef Liz Valenti said her decision came after health officials in Montgomery County issued a stay-at-home advisory, supported by local leaders including Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

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“We have to do the right thing, and for us, that meant closing the dining room…really trying to align ourselves with Mayor Nan, Montgomery County Board of Health, really trying to find ways to flatten the curve so that we’re not going to have to shut our economy down,” Valenti told News Center 7′s Sean Cudahy Thursday evening.

Valenti said this likely means furloughs for the restaurant, but her hope is to bring some employees back as the restaurant tries to ramp up a delivery service in the midst of the closure.

The restaurant remains open for curbside pickup and, as weather permits, on the heated outdoor patio.

But Valenti said she’s generally encouraging customers to eat at home.

“We’re going to lose business, but I don’t want to subject my staff or the public to opportunities to spread COVID,” she said.