‘Right now we’ve got nothing:’ NKY bar owners react to new statewide order

Kentucky orders halt to indoor dining, NKY bar owners react

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new set of restrictions Wednesday aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Among them is a statewide ban on indoor dining.

According to the order, bars and restaurants will close for indoor service beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 until midnight Sunday, Dec. 13.

They may continue delivery and to-go service as well as outdoor dining, but the mask mandate and socially distanced seating must be enforced. Packed patios, Beshear said, will result in wholesale changes to the rules for these businesses.

>> Kentucky orders halt to indoor dining, in-person education

The order is unwelcome news to many bar owners still recovering from the shutdown of April and May.

Libby’s Southern Comfort owner Brad Wainscot is among them.

“There’s a lot of people who’ve put their hearts and souls into restaurants and bars,” he said Wednesday night, “and right now we’ve got nothing.”

Wainscot says he just brought back most of his staff after he was forced to lay off 90 percent of his employees in March.

He’s particularly skeptical about the prospect of people choosing to dine outside in November and December.

“I don’t see a lot of people running to sit on a patio in the wintertime or when it’s freezing out,” he said.

Olde Towne Tavern’s management didn’t have to mull it over; following Beshear’s announcement, they closed the bar’s doors until the order is lifted.

“We don’t have access to heaters. We don’t have access to igloos. Heaters are selling out pretty quickly, so it would almost be impossible for us to keep open,” bartender Amber Smith said.

“I’m not saying it’s not necessary,” Wainscot said. “I’m just saying it’s a hard blow to take in right now. Right now we’re trying to wrap our head around it and figure out what we’re going to do for carryout.”

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