‘Come and take it’: Lexington coffee shop defies order to close

After a warning, the health department revoked its permit, meaning they can’t serve food.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:55 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington coffee shop is defying orders from the governor and the health department.

Brewed did not close indoor dining this week. After a warning, the health department revoked its permit, meaning they can’t serve food.

Customers were steadily in and out while our crew was there Tuesday afternoon and evening.

The coffee shop has a garage door that the owner has propped open that he says should allow him to serve people inside, like other restaurants are doing with tents.

But the Lexington Fayette County Health Department decided against it, issuing the enforcement notice for brewed to stop serving in-person dining.

Owner Andrew Cooperrider told us he simply refused. The health department then revoked his food permit but the restaurant remains serving. You can watch our full interview with him at the bottom of this story.

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And Brewed isn’t the only Kentucky business pushing back against the latest mandates. Another Lexington restaurant owner Joe Bologna gauged his customers’ opinion on indoor dining, sharing this post on social media:

“It’s like the business in General, 50% of your people are not coming because of their age and health, and 50% are coming,” Bologna said.

Cooperrider believes it’s not about the level of enforcement, but says they don’t have any other choice.

“I think it’s what do you have to lose, I think that’s where a lot of businesses are. What do you have to lose, what are they going to take away, your business? They already are. When those are my options, I lose my business or I lose my business, I’m going to choose the one that has the most likely outcome of not losing my business and that’s to stay open and resist where I have at least the financials coming in to pay for it,” Cooperrider said.

This isn’t Cooperrider’s only business, he says he lost another restaurant in Wilmore because of the first shutdown.

At this point, Bologna plans to stick with curbside and carry out while Cooperrider will continue serving in person. But, they both agree there are no perfect options.

“With the cost of everything now we could spend $10,000 in two weeks just for the cost of rent,” Bologna said.

“For almost all of us if we don’t open, we’re closed anyway,” Cooperrider said.

The health department told us they would continue reaching out for compliance, and “pursue other enforcement options.”

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