Restaurant block party has to wait

Bob Morehead

Herald Staff Writer


An idea to help “landlocked” Barberton restaurants participate when outdoor dining resumes May 15 in Ohio was shelved shortly after it was suggested.

At least three restaurants along Second Street and Tuscarawas Avenue have no patios. The Downtown Barberton Merchants Association worked to organize a “block party,” closing off parts of Park and Tuscarawas avenues May 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. to allow proper outdoor, socially distanced dining. The association posted a cancellation on its Facebook page May 14 about an hour and a half after posting the announcement.

“Running around and talking to all the merchants, about half were not going to open,” Association President Joyce Coburn told The Herald.

She said some of the merchants were concerned due to their ages, placing them in the higher-risk groups for the disease.

“And looking at other cities who tried to do something like this, they got mobs they couldn’t control,” Coburn said.

She added that the three restaurants in question weren’t ready for such an opening yet. One, she said, was reluctant to bring employees in off unemployment for a single day.

“This is my fault,” Coburn said. “I should’ve waited until I heard back before announcing anything.”

The idea was only shelved, though. It isn’t dead. The block party was reset for two days the following week, May 21 and 22.

“Instead of one day this weekend, we’ll have two next weekend,” Coburn said. “We’d like to be more prepared and do it better.”


  1. Karla Hazel on May 18, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    As far as employees having their unemployment messed up, that isnt necessarily the case. My son lost the full time job he had but works part time at a restaurant. Since the Corona Virus, his hours have dropped even more, but a few weeks back due to a very large carry out food order he got a few more hours, all that did was cause his unemployment check to be a little smaller for that week. So if and when this happens the ones on unemployment should still continue to receive it.

  2. EdAnonymous on May 17, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Should have had it, would have had a good crowd. Upper Deck in Coventry opened and they were wall to wall Saturday. So much for social distancing.

  3. Judy Michel on May 14, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    you just have to keep trying to do something…anything, to get Barberton going again…it will work out.sooner or later…keep the faith.

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