LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the first time in a long time, Kentucky bars and restaurants will return to 100% capacity after the restrictions are lifted on Friday.
What would you like to know
- COVID-19 capacity restrictions and almost all mask warrants removed in Kentucky on Friday
- Lousivlle restaurants are preparing to return to 100% capacity this weekend
- Staff issues have hurt Goose Creek Diner and Gander, restaurant owners say
- Customers delighted to see life return to normal
Chris Mike, owner of Goose Creek Diner and Gander in Louisville, said Friday was long overdue.
“Literally [I was] up all night [with] tears, it was over. I thought there was no way to survive even on rent if they help us, âMike said.
It’s a day that companies have waited over a year to include Mike. Reflecting on the year that has passed, he’s grateful that he survived this far after pivoting hard to win. Now he looks at the glass half full.
âHonestly, from a kitchen perspective, we were very fortunate to get the P3s loans, which kept a lot of our staff,â Mike explained.
With the lifting of COVID-19 mitigation orders, Friday is the first full day businesses can open at 100% capacity for more than a year.
âDefinitely the mask. I’m happy to get rid of it,â Mike said.
Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted Thursday that Kentucky is easing restrictions that will allow businesses to operate at full capacity again and that almost the entire term for masks will expire.
“I think all it is [Beshear] fact he did with a good heart, had the best intentions for all restaurants and people. It was very slow, I think it was a bit late to come, âexplains Mike.
It has around 40 employees between its two restaurants. The father of two said that as capacity limits increase, employment will also increase.
âWe’re always trying to get the staff back on their feet to handle the increased business. So we might not necessarily add more tables to the restaurant right away,â Mike said.
Customers like Shirley Stivers and Susan Hatchett have said now is a good time to fully open up businesses if you’ve received your COVID vaccine.
âIt’s a pleasure to see everyone’s faces and to be able to smile at them because all you could see were their eyes,â Stivers said.
âWe took it for granted to get out before the COVID-19 hit and once COVID-19 hit we hated it,â Hatchett said.
Overall, the staff are very excited to get back to doing what they love to do – serve the community.
âWe’ve made the little adjustments over the year and now we’re where we need to be this weekend,â said Mike.
Beshear will hold its last regular COVID-19 briefing on Friday at 12:30 p.m. You can watch this full update here on Spectrum News 1.