Customers enjoy first dining experience since pandemic began


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — It’s a day many people have been waiting for, even with restrictions.

Restaurants reopening is a sign the economy may truly be reopening.

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Not only was it a big day for restaurants but we found it also may have been just as big a day for customers.

“It’s a big deal for us. It’s a big deal for everybody in the community. It’s a big day,” says Jay Osborne, a regular at Double Dogs in Lexington.

Sitting down at a restaurant, enjoying a hot meal, having an ice cold drink on a pretty day.. something Kentuckians have missed since the middle of March.

“It was interesting like walking through the door was just a sense of relief. It’s a cool feeling to be out and about seeing people again,” says Osborne.

“It’s just nice to get out and see your friends and have that social interaction. Everyone needs it,” says customer Jason Goodpastor.

The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard. Double Dogs has felt that.

“We would just drive by and look and try to see hopefully that they were getting plenty of curbside business cause I mean it really has been awful for people,” says customer Shannon Dorconley.

Thankfully, the restaurant was able to bring back all its employees.

“It feels good to get back to somewhat of a normal business,” says general manager Jimmy Woodward.

Restaurant staff are wearing masks and gloves, getting temperatures checked upon arrival, keeping everyone as safe as they can.

“We’ll have a manager at the front door counting and making sure we don’t exceed our capacity,” says Woodward.

Some customers said that was a concern but it didn’t stop them from at least trying.

“I would’ve gotten takeout and sat in the bed of my truck and just watched. I would’ve had no problem just looking at it from the bed of my truck. We actually planned that out if there was a line we were gonna get takeout and just sit and look at it,” laughs Osborne.

Like most restaurants, it was a search for normalcy on the first day. Even pets were welcome.

‘We’ve got the TV’s on and there may not be live sports going on but there’s plenty of reruns,” says Woodward.

It was a day worth celebrating.

“Not that I’ve been counting but nine weeks and three days. It’s nice to get back to some kind of normalcy,” says Osborne and Goodpastor.

The restaurant said it was pleased with the first day and it expects to get busier and busier. That would be good, all things considered.

The restaurant is located on Justice Drive and is open Sunday-Thursday 11 am-8 pm; Friday & Saturday 11 am-10 pm.

Starting June 1st, hours will be Sunday-Thursday 11 am-9pm and Friday & Saturday 11 am-10 pm.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at