How gun violence can impact some Lexington businesses
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington saw its latest homicide over the weekend, and the city is on pace to break its homicide record again.
We’re heading into the first summer season with no COVID restrictions at bars and restaurants downtown and bar owners said they’re already starting to see record numbers for business.
Sean Ebbitt is the owner of Bluegrass Tavern, which sits on the strip near the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion. He said even though there’s been such a rise in gun violence in Lexington, they’re lucky to not be feeling any of those effects at their location.
“There’s naturally a little concern in some people’s minds, but overall, the customer experience downtown is a safe and fun one,” Ebbitt said.
Located on Cheapside Street, Ebbitt said business is on the complete up and up, especially compared to this time last year, mid-pandemic. And even as gun violence continues to rise in Lexington.
“Generally, most of kind of the bad stuff has been happening, it’s been happening after the bars have closed. So it hasn’t effected a staffing or customer experience,” Ebbitt said.
Shootings haven’t been happening on Ebbitt’s Street, which is something he contributes to an increased police presence.
“I think that is instilling a lot of confidence and security in people. Knowing the bike police are just a block away. Or on the same block,” Ebbitt said.
Ebbitt said he and other bar owners try to work closely with the police patrolling the area, but to them it’s clear even the sight of extra law enforcement is helping where they have it.
The city did announce sheriff’s deputies would be joining police in added patrols back in February. Their added shifts downtown do end at 10:00 p.m.
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