Covington sports bar contemplating next steps with new COVID-19 orders

Covington sports bar contemplating next steps with new COVID-19 orders

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Bars and restaurants are facing tough decisions with new COVID-19 orders from Gov. Andy Beshear.

With football season underway and college basketball tipping off, Hat Tricks Sports Bar in Covington is normally busy this time of year. That’s not the case now though.

Owners Johnnie Riley and Will Williams say the place is now deserted.

Last week, Gov. Beshear announced bars and restaurants can’t have indoor customers for three weeks but can have outdoor seating and carryout.

For Riley, this move came from left field.

“Out of the blue, he just shut us back down,” Riley says. “As you can imagine, we never expected it. We were never given the inkling that we would be shut back down.”

Since indoor dining is prohibited, the governor’s order allows for outdoor dining.

Riley says it doesn’t make sense for her to put a tent on the Madison Avenue sidewalk, so she’s forced to close.

Hat Tricks is more than just a sports bar, which makes Riley question the order.

“We have a bowling machine, pool hall; bowling alleys are allowed to be open,” explains Riley. “I’m not sure what we’re doing that we’re not allowed to do as to why they’re open.”

Gov. Beshear’s executive order says “indoor recreation activities must limit the amount of customers present inside any given establishment to 33% of the maximum permitted occupancy.”

“I understand the pandemic, I really do understand it, and I know safety is the best thing in this situation, but sometimes I just don’t understand how the governor his way of going there’s things still open and there’s things that are closed,” says Hat Tricks Sports Bar Co-owner Will Williams.

The governor announced a grant for bars and restaurants to help the businesses.

“The thing is, the grant isn’t going to pay my mortgage, the grants not going to pay my gas and electric,” Riley explained. “You know, this is my livelihood. I have two bars.”

The co-owners said if Gov. Beshear doesn’t lift these restrictions by Dec.14, they are just going to open again anyway.

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