Local restaurants changing things up to stay afloat


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentuckians are still waiting to find out when Gov. Andy Beshear will phase in re-opening dine-in service are restaurants.

In the meantime, local restaurants, like Ranada’s Bistro and Bar in Lexington, are having to change the way they do things to keep the lights on.

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“I firmly feel the face of restaurants have changed,” Ranada Riley, owner and chef at Ranada’s said.

Part of that change is incorporating curbside pickup and delivery, something Riley says is going to have to be apart of the new normal for the whole industry moving forward.

“We have reached different groups of people that we normally wouldn’t reach and different areas of town,” Riley said.

Ranada’s Bistro has been feeding the front lines, offering things like drag delivery where a drag queen delivers your food and offering family sized meals.

The next special? For mother’s day you can get a three course meal for two, wine and it comes with a code for a virtual concert with Keith McCutchen. Dinner and entertainment!

“I’m kind of practicing, as we go on you know and it’s fun keeps my kitchen on their toes too because I’m throwing like every kind of food you can possibly imagine,” she said.

A kitchen staff she’s been able to slowly bring back because she was able to get a loan from her bank through the federal payment protection program.

“The day that we had to sit everyone down and let them know that we were kind of closing, and we were gonna have to rely solely on myself and two owners, it was devastating. I mean, I felt like my world had ended that day,” Riley said.

Now, a part of her world coming back into her life.

As we look towards reopening Riley says local restaurants aren’t going to look or feel the same.

”We’re all going to have to elevate what we’re doing,” Riley said.

Riley said at Ranada’s one thing she isn’t going to do is raise prices, despite a probable limitation of how many guests she can serve at once.

During this time without people inside, Ranada’s is finally getting its long awaited floor re-model in addition to some other physical changes.

But at the end of the day, she’s grateful for a supportive community willing to bear with her during this time.

“We’ve gone through all these phases. And we’ve just tried to be there for one another and encourage, love goes a long way,” Riley said.

For more information on the services and specials Ranada’s Bistro offers check out its Facebook page.




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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com