Kentucky bar owner braces for continued changes amid mandated bar closures

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - Bars and restaurants in Kentucky are adjusting to a new normal, following Governor Andy Beshear’s orders to close and limit business to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Todd Blume is the owner of Paducah Beer Werks. While the business is open at PBR, Blume said he’s already had to close twice since the pandemic began in March.

Now, he’s concerned he may be forced to closed again.

“I’m worried about our financial future. Opening and closing is one of the hardest parts,” Blume said.

The pandemic has brought unknown circumstances to businesses across the nation. Blume said he’s had to make hard decisions in the last four months.

“Having to completely rethink how we do business,” Blume said. “Looking for other revenues, other ways to keep the business afloat and keep it working is what we are going to have to do.”

While the mandate is for bars to close for two weeks, PBR is open for outdoor seating. In addition, because the restaurant portion of the bar serves food, they could open at 25 percent capacity; however, Blume decided against it for safety.

“If I don’t have a community, then I don’t have customers, if my employees are sick, I don’t have a way to run my business, so I have to protect both of them,” Blume said.

The restaurant and bar management is using food specials and beer-to-go to keep customers. Blume said he may try delivery and bigger “family meals” to go in the future.

Ultimately, even with so much uncertainty, Blume said he’s in it for the long run.

“We are just holding tight just like everyone else is,” Blume said. “Hopefully, this will curb it and we will be able to open it back up.”

This measure closing bars and restricting seating in Kentucky bars and restaurants will be in effect until August 11.

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