FLORENCE, Ky. (FOX19) - The owner of a Florence bar is apologizing after a video surfaced of him and his customers defying Gov. Andy Beshear’s mask ordinance, but he says the apology isn’t because no one is wearing a mask.
“We’re Americans. We’re going to do what we want,” says Patrick Townsend, owner of Town’s End Bar, ar the beginning of the video.
Townsend is with about 20 customers standing arm and arm with no one wearing a mask.
He says he’s not apologizing about the lack of masks, but for the profanity he used in the video.
“My language was very, very abrasive, and if you heard that I’m very sorry,” he said.
Townsend stands by his message in the video against the mask order because he says, “it is a basic intrusion of our civil liberties.”
He added that Gov. Andy Beshear is now doing what the governor “complained about President Trump” doing.
“Before he has complained about President Trump trying to control what the states do,” Townsend said. “Well, he’s doing the same thing with all the county commissions and mayors. Let them do their job.”
Townsend says he fears the mask order will hurt his bar’s already suffering sales because of the pandemic.
“My number one priority in life is to protect my family,” Townsend explained. “That is the number one thing for me. Not to make money, not to do anything, but to protect my family and I feel like he is taking that right away from me.”
The bar owner says hand sanitizer is sitting out for customers, his employees are wearing masks and tables outside are 6′ apart.
Jamie Baynum lives right around the corner from the bar.
When she saw the video she says her first thought was about the health and safety of her family and neighbors.
She is imploring everyone in the community to comply with the mask order.
“We all have to do what we can,” Baynum said. “We have to give something up. We have to not be selfish and just do what we can to stop the spread. This is a pandemic and it’s not even close to being over.”
Baynum explained that she fears everything will get shut back down again if people do not follow the orders.
“I was furloughed for two and a half months, so I’m afraid that will happen again,” Baynum said.
But for the time being, Beshear says his mask order remains in effect.