Restaurants react to extended curfew; restaurant association says it’s not enough

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — It may not sound like much but to some businesses an hour is a long time – just ask bars and restaurants in Kentucky who got an extra hour starting Tuesday night.

But while serving until 11 p.m. and staying open until 12 a.m. is positive, the Kentucky Restaurant Association says businesses need more.

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The restaurant association asked for the later curfew with college sports back on.

So with Tuesday’s announcement by Governor Andy Beshear came a small victory and Carson’s Food and Drink in downtown Lexington is grateful.

“We’re so excited to have that extra hour of service,” says Carson’s manager Cassidy Moore.

Moore says it’s going to make a huge difference for weekends. The 10 p.m. curfew had been a big adjustment.

“It’s really kind of put a damper on our evening activity and having guests in here a little longer enjoying their cocktails,” says Moore.”

The restaurant’s only able to seat 35-40% capacity with social distancing so the later curfew means a lot to staff.

“Everybody’s got their family, their bills, everybody’s working just to stay afloat and it’s something new everyday but we’re all just navigating it together,” says Moore.

And with six months in shutdown, it offers some other benefits.

“I think right now it’s even more of a necessity to be able to go out and de-stress and enjoy time with your loved ones,” says Moore.

The restaurant association says the restrictions have been difficult.

“It’s been really hard seeing places that we love close,” says Stacy Roof, president and CEO of Kentucky Restaurant Association.

Roof says about 20% of restaurants won’t survive.

“”When the curfew happened so did the end to bar seating and service and that’s been very detrimental,” says Roof.

Bar seating and greater capacities are two things they need, especially with cold weather likely to reduce outdoor seating.

“It’s hard,” says Roof. “It’s like a tango, ya know, they take a few steps forward and then they go backward a little bit.”

A tango restaurants are learning, and not always by choice.

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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.