Some Kentucky restaurants close while owners wait for mandates to be lifted

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is not allowing indoor service at bars and restaurants temporarily in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.A Northern Kentucky restaurant has decided to close until that shutdown is lifted.It was a tough decision and the owners said it’s one they don’t take lightly.Brad and Michelle Wainscott opened Libby’s Southern Comfort two years ago this January.It’s the family business, Brad’s parents and sister have owned restaurants across Kentucky.This is a year they cannot afford to do again.Christmas lights are hung around Libby’s in Covington, but the mood is more somber than joyous. “It was a difficult decision. We just saw the sales going down,” said Brad Wainscott.Diners are crossing the river to sit indoors while Kentucky restaurants can only serve outside.They tried to make it work at Libby’s, but closing now means being able to open when mandates are lifted.”If we can, so to speak, stop the bleeding a little bit,” he said.Owning restaurants is a family affair.The Wainscotts are proprietors of famous spots like the Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell and Merrick Inn further south. “My sister and brother-in-law just shut down their restaurant in Lexington. My parents sold their restaurant they’ve owned for 35 years in Fort Mitchell. I think a lot of that had to do with getting older and time to retire, but COVID played a huge part in that decision,” he said.The couple said the grant money offered by the state is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they’ve lost over the course of 10 months of shutdowns or reduced capacity.”$10,000 bucks is nothing. It’s a Saturday night,” said Michelle.Emotions are raw as the couple tries to keep on their 35 employees during the holidays.”It’s like, are you able to take of the employees and are we able to take care of ourselves?” asked Brad.The stress does not stop.While they feel somewhat helpless, there’s also aggravation. “It is frustrating. It seems unfair. I think the restaurant is one of the cleanest and safest places you can be, I know for certain Libby’s is,” said MichelleThe restaurant is doing a raffle for the chance to purchase two allocated bottles of Pappy Van Winkle, a 15-year and a Reserve Rye. Those proceeds will go directly to employees.They are also selling gift cards and merchandise. The current mandate expires Dec. 13, but it’s unclear if Beshear will extend that deadline.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is not allowing indoor service at bars and restaurants temporarily in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

A Northern Kentucky restaurant has decided to close until that shutdown is lifted.

It was a tough decision and the owners said it’s one they don’t take lightly.

Brad and Michelle Wainscott opened Libby’s Southern Comfort two years ago this January.

It’s the family business, Brad’s parents and sister have owned restaurants across Kentucky.

This is a year they cannot afford to do again.

Christmas lights are hung around Libby’s in Covington, but the mood is more somber than joyous.

“It was a difficult decision. We just saw the sales going down,” said Brad Wainscott.

Diners are crossing the river to sit indoors while Kentucky restaurants can only serve outside.

They tried to make it work at Libby’s, but closing now means being able to open when mandates are lifted.

“If we can, so to speak, stop the bleeding a little bit,” he said.

Owning restaurants is a family affair.

The Wainscotts are proprietors of famous spots like the Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell and Merrick Inn further south.

“My sister and brother-in-law just shut down their restaurant in Lexington. My parents sold their restaurant they’ve owned for 35 years in Fort Mitchell. I think a lot of that had to do with getting older and time to retire, but COVID played a huge part in that decision,” he said.

The couple said the grant money offered by the state is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they’ve lost over the course of 10 months of shutdowns or reduced capacity.

“$10,000 bucks is nothing. It’s a Saturday night,” said Michelle.

Emotions are raw as the couple tries to keep on their 35 employees during the holidays.

“It’s like, are you able to take of the employees and are we able to take care of ourselves?” asked Brad.

The stress does not stop.

While they feel somewhat helpless, there’s also aggravation.

“It is frustrating. It seems unfair. I think the restaurant is one of the cleanest and safest places you can be, I know for certain Libby’s is,” said Michelle

The restaurant is doing a raffle for the chance to purchase two allocated bottles of Pappy Van Winkle, a 15-year and a Reserve Rye.

Those proceeds will go directly to employees.

They are also selling gift cards and merchandise.

The current mandate expires Dec. 13, but it’s unclear if Beshear will extend that deadline.