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.
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.
i guess lexington just stayed inside for 10 weeks for the paddock bars to do this pic.twitter.com/rflruU8ZRW
— maybe: mak (@bigmakball) May 25, 2020