‘It’s about surviving right now’: One month in, local bar owner talks about Gov. Beshear’s restaurant curfew

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 9:48 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - One month ago, Governor Beshear announced a restaurant curfew. This curfew entails restaurants to stop serving at 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.

Brandon Shepherd, owner of Shep’s place in Corbin, says after 10 p.m. is when he makes his money.

“That’s usually some of our peak times on the weekend at least on Friday and Saturday night," said Shepherd. “A lot of times Friday and Saturday helps us catch back up from the rest of the week.”

He says the curfew cuts out the restaurant’s peak time and alcohol sales help keeps them afloat and keeps bartenders and servers employed.

“I want to make sure that they have enough money in order to live and sustain and that they can stay here and work," said Shepherd. “It is a good money maker for a restaurant and when you cap us it eliminates some of that period of time where we could be making decent money so we can keep everything sustained cause right now it’s not about getting rich by any means it’s about sustaining what we have.”

Shepherd told WYMT there was some push back from customers when the guidelines were first put in place but people have gotten used to them.

“We’re starting to get people coming in around 7:30-8 o’clock and that’s when our peak times on the weekends have started is around that time," said Shepherd.

Shepherd feels the restaurant industry has been targeted and thinks there should not be blanket regulations for the entire state.

“I do think that we should allow like our local cities and counties to be able to govern based on the data that we have," said Shepherd.

Bars in Louisville have filed a class-action lawsuit against Governor Beshear after the orders were put in place. Shepherd says he has not considered taking legal action and says he could only see owners doing so if they feared they would have to close their doors permanently.

“They’re not just trying to make a quick buck right now, the ship is literally sinking so they’re trying to do what they can to survive cause it’s about surviving right now.”

Shepherd hopes as sports come back, business will pick up. Shep’s Place does plan to stream Corbin High School football games on Friday nights as the stands are limited capacity.

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