Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 263 Monday, allowing establishments, if owners choose, to allow dogs on outdoor patios. This news may be confusing for Clevelanders, given that there are plenty of dog-friendly patios (including our 20 favorite
) in the 216.
However, City of Cleveland Ordinance 2163.01 states, "No live animal shall be brought into, or kept in, any room in which food is prepared, processed, stored or served except guide dogs accompanying their blind masters may not be prohibited." Meaning we've all been technically breaking the law every time we've brought our furry friends out to eat with us on patios, but the ordinance historically is enforced by the city health department only when
there is a complaint.
The new state-wide bill goes into effect in October after the state departments of agriculture and health create rules to ensure food safety laws are followed. The bill does state that dogs will have to be regulated with current vaccinations and leashes are required.
However, the department directors are allowed to prohibit dogs any time there is a public health emergency. And the patio does have to have an outside entrance, as the bill prohibits dogs in any inside entrances.