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Cold weather could wreak havoc on restaurants already struggling through pandemic

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 4:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re now in September and fall is right around the corner.

Many in the commonwealth look forward to cooler weather, but this year, it could wreak havoc on restaurants that are already going through a tough time.

According to the Kentucky Restaurant Association, 20 percent of the state’s restaurants will close due to the pandemic.

It reports outdoor seating is “do or die” for many businesses. As the weather starts to cool down, this may become less of an option.

”We put a big emphasis on initially doing only outdoor seating,” said Wesley Browne, co-owner of Apollo Pizza.

Browne says they’re putting UV filters inside to improve ventilation. Plus, they’ve added garage doors that can be opened for better air circulation.

When it gets colder, customers can still expect the outdoor option with heaters at the ready.

”There’s a lot of people that just don’t feel comfortable inside and we want to have a place for them so we’re going to make every effort we can, no matter how cold it gets,” Browne said.

Sav’s Grill owner Mamadou Savanve, known by many as Sav, says he’s not comfortable seating people in his dining room.

“As much as we want the business to thrive, but we want everyone to be safe also,” Sav said.

He put a tent in the parking lot for costumers to sit in when grabbing a bite.

Sav says he is also hoping to build a permanent space outside for customers to dine in during colder months.

”The roof will be clear, there will be natural light coming through, it’s going to be like a one of a kind,” Sav said.

Without this space, Sav says he will have to resort to takeout only.

“Praying every single day that we will survive, that’s the main thing for me right now,” Sav said. “I think that the customers will come and keep supporting us all these years, I think we are going to survive, you just have to believe in it you know.”

The next step for Sav’s new place is approval from the city.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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