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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

NW Ohio bars take different approaches on busiest drinking night of year

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is widely regarded as the busiest day every year for bars. But amid the pandemic, the approach differs based on the establishment.

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Each year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving usually draws huge crowds to bars across the country.

But with the pandemic this year, is the scene any different? It depends on the establishment.

Some are going full steam ahead while others are making adjustments. WTOL 11 called about a dozen local bars Tuesday and most were just too busy to even speak with us.

"We've got so many good, regular customers who are coming in now and we've got a good-sized group in there," said Joe Hoppe, the owner of Frogtown Johnnie's on McCord Road and Central Avenue. "They're enjoying themselves and they're going to do the best that they can within this environment."

Credit: WTOL

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At Frogtown Johnnie's, it's business as usual... sort of. Seats are distanced, but customers are still coming in on the busiest bar night of the year.

"It is the biggest bar night of the year. But not this year," said Scot Yarnell, a co-owner of Earnest Brew Works.

The brewery made pandemic-adjustments this year like bringing in four food trucks and encouraging customers to pick up cans or growlers to go, as opposed to drinking at the bar.

"We put plenty of staff on," Yarnell said. "They're really going to get you in and out of here really quick so you get to enjoy your Thanksgiving eve."

It's a modified approach to a night where sales usually skyrocket. But this year, it's about staying patient and staying the course.

"We all have to look at the long-term," Hoppe said. "Right. So this is short-term, it's in the moment, and we as an area, a state, a country, we are going to get better."

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