Lexington bar responds to criticism after video shows large crowd

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — A Lexington bar is being criticized by some after a video posted to Twitter from over the weekend shows a large crowd in the business not social distancing.

The owner of The Paddock on South Limestone is defending his bar.

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We asked owner Erick Ostrander if the bar was over capacity in the video.

“No, we’ve never been over-capacity all week. In fact, we’ve closed a couple hours early. We haven’t even stayed open till 2:30. We don’t want to press our luck,” says Ostrander.

People responded to the video online, one saying “God help us all. I guess that’s another three months my old people will have to stay home. I sure hope no one dies.”

Ostrander says capacity is around 40 people inside and around 80 outside.

The bar has staff at the door using a clicker to count each time someone steps in, or out.

“It’s not our intention in any way shape or form to get anybody sick or stress out any government agency, or anything like that. But, people have been cooped up for 10 weeks and they want to see each other,” says Ostrander.

But according to the video, not everyone is doing it responsibly.

“When you get blasted online it doesn’t feel great because you’re just like, we’re just trying to be fun. And, you know we’re not making anybody come here,” says Ostrander.

But they did come in numbers once the bar was allowed to reopen after getting a permit to sell food.

“What you don’t see on the video is us shutting down early, us kicking those people out. It does look bad when there’s 40 people at once, but you don’t see us panicking to fix it,” says Ostrander’s business partner, Matthew Price.

The bar got a visit from the health department, which says the business agreed to discourage congregating at the bar and to make sure social distancing is practiced.

“We care more about comfortability and safety, and staying open for the long run than making a quick buck,” says Price.

They say it’s a difficult time navigating as a business, as the public tries to adapt to this ‘new normal’.

And, the health department will be watching to make sure all the new normal guidelines in The Paddock are met.

 

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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 CBollinger@wtvq.com.