Cincinnati Bars Make Games and Activities Safer With UV Light and Social Distancing

From arcade games to duckpin bowling, you can still have fun going out with these new safety measures.

Cincinnati’s bars are reopening their doors, but the night spots with our favorite activities—like arcade games, bowling, and volleyball—need extra safety measures to keep COVID-19 at bay.

Photograph courtesy of Fifty West Brewing Company

Fifty West Brewing Company in Mariemont is known for its wide range of outdoor activities, and although some sports, like kayaking and canoeing, have been canceled for the season due to coronavirus concerns, other outdoor activities, like exercise classes and their weekly fun runs, are in full swing with extra sanitization and social distancing practices.

Photograph courtesy of Fifty West Brewing Company

“We’re supposed to keep people six feet apart, but with all of our space, we’re keeping people 10 to 12 feet apart,” says co-owner Bobby Slattery.

To further encourage distance between guests, the beer and burger spot has limited its seating to outdoors only and converted its volleyball courts to field more tables.

“We probably have the biggest outdoor beer garden in the state of Ohio,” Slattery adds. “If you provide customers with an experience that’s as close to normal as possible but with the extra safety precautions, they’ll love it.”

As for indoor bars with high-touch activities, Over-the-Rhine’s 16-Bit Bar+Arcade now has a designated disinfecting team to sanitize arcade games after each use. Customers at the nostalgic spot are also required to distance themselves by every other game.

Photograph courtesy of 16-Bit Bar+Arcade

“For us, it wasn’t, How are we gonna solve this now? It was, How are we gonna solve this long-term?” says Rise Brands CEO Troy Allen.

After arcade controls are disinfected with a cleaning solution, staff go over high-touch areas again with a UV light wand, which kills viruses and bacteria in a matter of minutes.

“With that UV wand, they will go over all the buttons and controls and clean it again, so it’s double-duty,” Allen says. “I think UV technology is something we might start seeing in more places.”

Photograph courtesy Hoppin' Vines

The medical-grade sterilizer is also being used at Hoppin’ Vines’ duckpin bowling. “We’ll utilize the light in between uses, so we can have the bowling balls double-sanitized,” says co-owner Kelly Schoembs.

Bowlers at Hoppin’ Vines are also staggered to every other lane. Disposable gloves are available at players’ request, and commonly touched surfaces throughout the bar are doubly disinfected every 45 minutes.

“It’s overkill, but we care about our guests and employees,” says manager and co-owner Brian O’Connell. “So, anything we can do to go above and beyond, we’re going to take care of.”

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