Sunday, May 27, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Businesses close doors or improvise during water crisis

Restaurants that open report a drop in clientele, revenue


Daniel Taylor, general manager of Max & Erma’s at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, said he used his experience at rib-off events to open without tap water.

Enlarge | Buy This Image

The Max & Erma’‍s restaurant at Levis Commons typically draws about 800 patrons on a Saturday night, but this weekend just 50 showed up after Toledo issued a no-drink advisory for its tap water, which also is distributed in Perrysburg.


Amie's Pizza Factory, 6710 W. Central Ave., Sylvania, opens at 10 a.m. Carryout only until otherwise stated

Barry Bagels, all locations, (don't know hours yet)

Bier Stube, 5333 Monroe St., Toledo, opens at 2 p.m.

Balance Pan-Asian Grill, 5860 W. Central Ave., Sylvania, 514 The Boulevard, Maumee, opens at 11 a.m.

Black Kite Coffee and Pies, 2499 Collingwood Blvd., opens at 7 a.m., selling bottled drinks and baked goods

Bleak House Coffee, 612 Adams St., will be open today from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Claddagh, 5001 Monroe St., Toledo, open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Deet’‍s BBQ, 1385 Conant St., Maumee, opens at 11 a.m.

The Flying Joe, 2130 Preston Pkwy., Perrysburg, opens at 8 a.m.

Jamba Juice, 3305 W. Central Ave., Toledo, opens at 1 p.m.

Various McDonald's locations available on Twitter @McDonalds_NWOH

Star Diner, all locations, open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Vito's Pizza and Subs, all locations, hours vary by location

Send restaurant openings to r on Twitter @taylordungjen.



The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has created a restaurant information line at 419-246-8072 for people with questions.

Things you can do:

■ Wash hands with tap water

■ Use a low-temp/​chlorine dish machine and rinse items with bottled water afterward

■ Prepare food using only bottled water

Things you can’t do:

■ Cannot use tap water for anything other than hand washing

■ Cannot use fountain beverages or ice machines

■ Cannot use high temperature dish machines

■ Cannot transport water from other locations (tap water or well water)

■ Bottled water MUST be used for: 3 compartment sinks, produce washing, steam tables, all beverages, sanitizing buckets, rinsing after using low temp dish machines

Daniel Taylor, the restaurant’‍s general manager, said that cost between $6,000 and $8,000 in lost sales Saturday, and the eatery was on its way to losing $6,000 to $7,000 more on Sunday because of its ability to serve only juice or beer to drink and the loss of most side dishes from its menu because of the water warning.

“Horrible,” he said of the losses.

And Max & Erma’‍s was one of just a few restaurants that even opened over the weekend after tests showing excessive algal toxins in Toledo water prompted the no-drink order early Saturday. Many simply closed while waiting for better news from the city about its water supply.

■ Kasich, Collins comment as Toledo water crisis continues
■ Toledoans still scurrying for water supplies
■ Algae at Toledo water intake crib

Ciao Ristorante in Sylvania also struggled to keep its doors open with a light customer load. Most of the restaurants at The Docks in East Toledo stayed shut, as did Treo in Sylvania and the three Mancy family restaurants in Toledo and Maumee. At The Docks, only Zia’‍s opened, and that with a limited menu.

“We had to haul a lot of water in and then get plastic cups and glassware. We have a limited menu,” said Brenda Keese, dining supervisor at Ciao, where business was “fair, but not a typical amount.”

“It is a tough time. They lost a weekend,” Perrysburg Mayor Mike Olmstead said of local restaurateurs’‍ hardship.

Mr. Olmstead said he ate from paper plates and chose from a waterless menu Sunday morning at Cafe Marie on Central Avenue in Sylvania Township. The private sector’‍s ingenuity was impressive, he said.

Liability concerns should anyone get sick was a main reason many restaurants stayed closed, said Eric Zgodzinski, director of community and environmental health services for the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

“There were a number open that called [for safety and health tips],” he said. “The concern is they have a complex procedure in preparing food and you don’‍t want to take a chance with the change and someone gets sick.”

The health department told restaurants to clean dishes using bottled water, and to use disposable utensils and plates as much as possible to minimize water use.

The water crisis’‍ timing was fortunate for the Toledo Mud Hens, who finished a homestand Friday evening and will be on the road until Thursday, said team spokesman Andi Norman.

She declined to speculate on what the ballclub would have done had it been scheduled to play at Fifth Third Field over the weekend.

“The schedule worked out,” she said. “We are monitoring to see what the city is doing and will follow it day-by-day and make a firm decision as it gets closer.”

Fat Jack’‍s bar in Perrysburg used plastic cups and paper cups to stay open through the weekend, owner Tom Muir said, noting that his ice machine was fully stocked Friday night — a supply that held out into Sunday with its water supply shut off. But business was down, probably because many potential customers didn’‍t know Fat Jack’‍s was open, Mr. Muir said.

“We lost a lot of money Saturday night, it was a killer,” he said.

Mr. Taylor said Max & Erma’‍s stayed open based on his experience running rib-off events without water and using paper plates, plastic-foam cups, and plastic utensils. Bottled water is being heated to 140 degrees to clean kitchenware, he said.

“I don’‍t care if the health department comes. I hope they do — that would be great,” Mr. Taylor said. “What is more important is the safety of the people here. It is very challenging, and I think that is why you see a lot of restaurants not open — you have one slip up and it can make someone sick. I take that very seriously.”

Mr. Taylor said it was also important to him to keep his employees working, although the light traffic was costing servers hundreds of dollars in tips.

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…