GALION — After months of lobbying, debating, planning and constructing, the front and back patios at Eighteen-O-Three Taproom are finished and open to the public.
Chris Stone, owner of the Harding Way East business, worked diligently over the last year to convince Galion City Council to approve ordinances for permanent outdoor dining and retail areas, and for the sale and consumption of alcohol in those areas. Council passed ordinances last month to allow both, along with the ability for non-profit organizations to sell alcohol at special events in the uptowne zoning area.
“It was the effort of many because there was so much support from the community,” Stone said. “There were many different business owners that were with me at city hall for months of debate and questioning. I am grateful we have a city that is willing to support local businesses”.
“We are lucky to live in a community like Galion,” he said.
Stone said the addition of the fenced-in patios in front of his business and in the rear will be good for customers and other businesses, as well.
“I hope that other businesses will do the same,” said Stone.
Galion resident Vic Montgomery was one of the first customers to drink a craft beer while sitting at one of the bar stools in front of the Eighteen-O-Three Taproom on Thursday afternoon.
“This is the only place in town that gives you an experience,” said Montgomery, a retiree who enjoys riding his bicycle around town. “This is the most forward-thinking thing the city has ever done and I am glad. This is really nice.”
Stone hopes the outdoor areas attract more people.
“We have an awesome community in Galion and are incredibly grateful for each and every person who has helped and each and every customer who has enjoyed a pint of Ohio craft beer with us,” said Stone on the business’ Facebook page on Thursday.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras