Kentucky COVID-19 restrictions relaxed at restaurant, bars

Graham Waller, the owner of Winchell’s in Lexington, says he grateful that business is picking...
Graham Waller, the owner of Winchell’s in Lexington, says he grateful that business is picking back up but noted there are still challenges with finding enough workers.(WKYT)
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 10:51 AM CDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky restaurant owners are certainly happy that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to lift.

Staring Friday, capacity is now increasing to 75 percent. Restaurants and bars can also return to normal business hours and restaurants can now serve customers at the bar.

COVID-19 curfews on all bars and restaurants are also lifted. Before the curfew was lifted, the last call at bars was midnight, and everyone had to be out by 1 a.m. Now, bars can serve until 2:30 a.m.

Graham Waller, the owner of Winchell’s in Lexington, says he grateful that business is picking back up but noted there are still challenges with finding enough workers.

He says a grant from the city has helped tremendously. The restaurant used the money to hire a new chef this week and gave him a signing bonus.

Waller is thinking of other ways he can provide economic incentives to attract more staff.

“We’re still going to keep the menu smaller for the foreseeable future,” Waller. “It’s still going to affect our hours with earlier closing to try to keep the labor that we have in line where it needs to be.”

In two weeks, on June 11, restaurants can return to full capacity. At Winchell’s, the owner says much of that will depend on if they have enough staff.

The governor’s mandate for wearing a mask will also be lifted on June 11.

Kentucky restaurant owners are certainly happy that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to lift.

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