Downtown Lexington restaurant owners react to gun violence
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Recent gun violence is taking a toll on the community of Lexington, with some restaurants seeing their business impacted.
“Now, we’re kind of re-evaluating. It seems like every weekend there’s something new, and we have to value our own safety,” said Sylvia Gross, a cashier at Sam’s Hot Dog Stand on N. Limestone St. in Lexington.
- Lexington marks another deadly weekend amid recent surge in violence
- Four people hurt in overnight shooting, suspect arrested
- Shots fired along Sherard Circle in Lexington
- One killed in overnight shooting, victim identified
Sam’s Hot Dog Stand has been open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the past year. However, recent downtown shootings are causing them to consider closing earlier.
“If it comes down to our safety or making a little bit of extra money, then safety is the number one concern,” said Gross.
Not all businesses are impacted the same.
Jim Sawyer, owner of Sawyer’s Downtown, said his restaurant is not open late, making the impact of the shootings minimal on his business. Sawyer said his friends working at bars late at night are expressing concerns.
“My forte is lunch and early evening, and so again, I think I was at a meeting where several of the bars downtown are angry because there is trouble as they get into their later hours,” said Sawyer. “We’re not down here at 2 a.m. or 1 a.m., and that’s usually when it happens.”
Sawyer said his biggest concern is the changed perception of the city of Lexington.
“I think that the perception of what all is going on downtown is a little bit skewed, but at the same time, it’s affecting things a little bit because [people are] concerned.”
As Sam’s Hot Dog Stand weighs its closing hours, Gross said gun violence hits close to home.
“I did personally know one of the people who was killed in a homicide this year,” said Gross. “We don’t want to see this happening. We don’t want to see this in our community.”
Copyright 2023 WKYT. All rights reserved.