LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – The owner of one of the city’s newest bars says his restaurant was getting lots of business on New Year’s Eve before police told him about a suspicious camper parked close by.
Elixir Downtown originally opened it’s doors in June.
On New Year’s Eve, they hosted a special dinner to showcase itself to local patrons.
Owner Stephan Scaldaferri tells ABC 36 that the night started off very successful.
“Our dinner reservations were starting some people were through their first or second course and then we had 20-25 that were on their way and a couple parties at the door,” says Scaldaferri.
Unfortunately, the bar and it’s patrons had to end the meal abruptly after police noticed an abandoned vehicle that was parked across the street.
It was 8pm when the restaurant had to stop seating people and start helping them evacuate to safety.
“At that moment you don’t have a lot of time to think it’s just one of those things where everything stops immediately so it was more around making sure all of our guests got out and make sure all the rest of the building was cleared out,” says Scaldaferri.
By 10:30 police found the RV’s owners and confirmed it had no explosives.
Because bluegrass businesses are required to stop alcohol service by 11 because of Coronavirus, owners like Scaldaferri couldn’t salvage the night and stay open.
He says the event was very much looked forward to by his staff and they were disheartened by the turnout.
“It was extremely hard on them–with times the way they are right now a lot of folks are struggling financially,” says Scaldaferri.
After the evacuation, Scaldaferri told ABC 36 that he was very happy to see evacuated patrons making new reservations to revisit Elixir Downtown.
“Its nice to have the community support but we also need to support them and create a good environment for them
And last night we created a safe environment for them and to make sure everyone got out and had rides home,” says Scaldaferri.
The bar says it’s looking forward to toasting to 2021 following this unplanned end to 2020.
“No one could have predicted it but it’s one of those things where it happened and you move forward,” says Scaldaferri.
On Friday, Elixir Downtown had a relaunch of its entire menu it had focused on for New Year’s Eve.
The bar will offer this menu Saturday night as well.
Reservations are still be accepted.