LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ)- Lexington restaurants could soon be able serve in-person dining on streets and parking lots.
Planning is moving fast at J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar. Workers are coming back and soon, so will the usuals, as in-person dining will return May 22.
“I feel like we’re opening again,” said Owner Gwyn Everly. “I feel like we’re going through all of those first things to get the finishing touches on everything, so that we’re ready to serve the guests.”
Everly said they’re already measuring out space for their patio area to socially distance tables. Inside, the state is limiting capacity to 33 percent, but outside, they can serve as many as they can socially distance.
To further help restaurants, the city is making temporary changes to its code to allow more tables on sidewalks and extend outdoor dining into a parking lot. Officials are even looking at shutting down roads.
“We’ve got to be creative about this,” said Mayor Linda Gorton. “If the restaurants can only have 33 percent of their space occupied, that’s a third.”
Those changes will go into effect for three weeks.
Gorton says they are also planning on asking restaurants near state roads to apply to have a lane shut down.
If there’s enough interest from restaurants, the three-week timeline could be extended.
“We think that the plans that are in place, if they’re followed, it will be very safe to eat out. We want to encourage people to do that,” said Gorton.
Gorton admits these plans are an experiment to help local restaurants and shops.
Every, though, is confident that the plan will help, “I’m already looking forward to a great weekend of seeing people from six feet away and welcoming back to J. Render’s, where they can just hang out and feel a little bit normal.”