DRY RIDGE, Ky. (FOX19) - The food service license has been reinstated for a Northern Kentucky restaurant that refused to stop in-person dining in late November.
Criminal charges are still pending, however, against the owner of Beans Cafe & Bakery, Richard Hayhoe, according to his attorney, Chris Wiest.
“One down, One to go!” reads one of Beans’ latest Facebook posts.
“I’m very pleased to report that Beans has received back its confiscated Food Permit and we are now ‘legally’ allowed to resume our livelihood and that of our staff! Praise God!”
Beans, with locations in Dry Ridge and Hebron, remained open last month despite Gov. Andy Beshear’s order halting in-person dining at all Kentucky restaurants due to what he described as a “wildfire”-like surge of COVID-19.”
The Northern Kentucky Health District suspended the restaurant’s food license and ordered it to cease operations.
Beans kept serving, so the matter was referred to the Grant County Attorney’s Office, per NKYHD protocol.
The statewide ban on indoor dining expired as intended Dec. 14.
The surge that prompted it has since plateaued, according to several metrics.
Gov. Beshear and state health leaders credited the order for Kentucky’s recent success in the pandemic, where case surges in most other states, including all of Kentucky’s neighbors such as Ohio, have persisted into December.
Kentucky is reportedly the only state in the country where fewer ICU beds are in current use than were in use three months ago.
In a statement to FOX19 NOW, Dr. Lynne Saddler, the director of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, said the decision to reinstate Beans’ license is based on a determination by the Kentucky Department for Public Health that the permits could be re-instated since Beshear’s order expired.
“NKY Health took the required steps in consultation with the Kentucky Department for Public Health to enforce compliance with Governor Beshear’s Executive Order. We will continue to address complaints from the public and establishments concerned about activities that can cause the spread of COVID in our communities.”
Criminal charges were announced last week against Beans’ owner. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office served Hayhoe with the criminal complaint summons at Hayhoe’s home, his attorney has told FOX19 NOW.
The documents informed Hayhoe he faces two misdemeanor counts of operating a restaurant without a permit, one in Grant County and another in Boone County.
Hayhoe wrote in a Facebook post: “Chris Wiest and I will go to court anytime to keep employees working in an inspected, hygienic dining room just before Christmas!”
Beans and Bakery was one of several Northern Kentucky businesses to sue Beshear and the health district over the summer, claiming the governor’s statewide pandemic orders were illegitimate.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled against the restaurant and its fellow plaintiffs Nov. 12.
According to WKYT, a Lexington coffee shop that also continued indoor dining despite the governor’s order suffered a similar loss of license.
A judge granted a temporary restraining order against the coffee shop, Brewed, on Dec. 1.
The shop’s license was subsequently reinstated, and, as of last week it was back open serving food and drinks.
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