Popular Lexington restaurant still closed after pipe burst during arctic blast

Popular Lexington restaurant still closed after pipe burst during arctic blast
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:13 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington restaurant is closed after a pipe burst during December’s freeze.

Ramsey’s Diner on Helmsdale Place shut down on Christmas Eve. According to the Herald-Leader, a sprinkler system froze and broke. It flooded the restaurant.

It’s not the kind of Christmas surprise the owner, Rob Ramsey, was hoping for. Ramsey’s had hoped to reopen the location by January 5, but they are having to redo drywall and replace the carpet.

“The sprinkler system has frozen and broken,” said Ramsey. “Everything from three feet down is ruined. It’s been just soaked. Carpet, drywall.”

Ramsey says with so many businesses and homes around town faced the same issue that it was ten days before they could get anyone inside to look at that damage.

“It’s been a slow, frustrating, tedious process,” said Ramsey. “The biggest problem has been keeping my employees working.”

Some of Ramsey’s servers at his other locations have given up their shifts for the employees here, but Ramsey knows that won’t be enough.

“I have a provision in my policy to pay my employees when they’re out of work. But they’ll only pay the servers $2.13, which is what we pay them. But through the tip credit, they make $70, $80 an hour through tips,” said Ramsey. “Now they’re sitting there without work.”

With so many in need of repairs, the restoration at Ramsey’s is taking three times longer than it would normally.

“This happens, and you can’t blame them if they can’t work,” said Ramsey. “They’ve got to go somewhere else. That’s what’s frustrating about it.”

Ramsey says what usually would have been a two-week fix is now going to take six weeks at least.

A reopening date has not yet been decided.

Ramsey’s expects to be closed through January. The other three locations are still open.