Trying To Keep A Restaurant Afloat In Cincinnati Jon Diebold is struggling to keep his bills paid and business running. People aren't eating at his family restaurant like they used to, he says, and he's getting worried about how to cover expenses for his five kids.
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Trying To Keep A Restaurant Afloat In Cincinnati

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Trying To Keep A Restaurant Afloat In Cincinnati

Trying To Keep A Restaurant Afloat In Cincinnati

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Here's a small piece of the big picture. We ask you our listeners to write in with stories about how you're doing these days financially. We call the series The Real Economy. We've heard from more than a 150 people, among them Jon Diebold in Cincinnati. Jon, what station do you hear our show on there?

Mr. JON DIEBOLD (Owner, Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant, Cincinnati, Ohio): 91.7 WVXU.

CHADWICK: Well, thanks for listening. And you lead a pretty busy life there at work and at home. You own a small restaurant. How are things?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Well, it's been rough. The economy, I think, is affecting everyone and certainly those with discretionary disposable income.

CHADWICK: Yeah. Do you do a lunch business there?

Mr. DIEBOLD: We do a lunch business. We are in the central business district of Cincinnati. And then we also do some progressively busier dinner period with the theaters at night.

CHADWICK: Yeah. So, how is the lunch crowd now?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Well, the lunch crowd is down. We do have a lot of people who used to have business expenses that do not anymore, expense accounts. And downtown Cincinnati, I guess, has experienced its own economic shortfall with businesses moving out of town and what not. So, lunch has seemed to be down a little bit. I am part of a - it's called the Greater Cincinnati Independence of Independent Restaurant Owners - which is a dying breed, anyway - but we're all pretty lamenting the lack of business and just the current climate that we're trying survive in.

CHADWICK: So, you are in your mid-40s, I think?


CHADWICK: And you have five kids?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Five kids.

CHADWICK: Including twins about to go to college?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Yes. They're seniors in high school, so that's another source of apprehension right now.

CHADWICK: Yeah. Well, what do you do there at home when you sit around and talk with your wife and your kids about what's going to happen?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Well, we're constantly looking at different ways to just cut costs, you know, from the simple things of turning off lights and not wasting food, to the more involved of looking at the monthly bills or recurring bills, phone bills, gas bills, you know, how to pay for the next set of costs that are coming, and they are nonstop with five kids.

CHADWICK: I think I saw in our notes here that you do not have health insurance.


CHADWICK: And no one in your family has health insurance?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Well, the children have Medicaid, just due to our lower income. We are available to some of the state aid, which is very welcome. Fortunately, we haven't had to use it too much. We do have a couple of kids with some special needs that are addressed, but the other three haven't had much need for it.

CHADWICK: Even in difficult times you need a little break. You need to get away and do something to remind yourself that life is fun sometimes, too. What you do if you have any extra money and you can go somewhere?

Mr. DIEBOLD: We did get away for a family vacation this summer, went down to North Carolina. We do the bargain movie theaters. We do - the kids are very busy at school and we try to keep them going on all these field trips and what not.

CHADWICK: Ohio, where you are, this was a famous battleground state in the election, and you know, we've had all these undecided voters. And we are asking people these questions that feel intrusive, even to us as we ask them, but can you tell me how you voted?

Mr. DIEBOLD: Well, I was undecided, I guess, or uncommitted up until Monday evening, and to be honest with you, I couldn't bring myself to vote for either one of the two major parties. I just felt that neither one of them represented the change that we actually needed in this country. So - and I will just leave it at that.

CHADWICK: All right. Jon Diebold in Cincinnati, Ohio. What's your restaurant?

Mr. DIEBOLD: It's the Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant.

CHADWICK: Jon Diebold, thank you.

Mr. DIEBOLD: Thank you.

(Soundbite of music)

CHADWICK: And stay with us on Day to Day.

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