restaurants

Kevin Willis

 

The federal government is rescinding thousands of payments promised to struggling restaurants. 

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was meant to provide pandemic relief. Initially, the program offered a 21-day exclusivity period for women, military veterans and “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” to apply first. But a series of lawsuits halted the program, accusing it of being unfair because it prioritizes businesses owned by women and people of color.

One of the lawsuits was filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee by Antonio Vitolo, the owner of Jake’s Bar and Grill in Harriman, Tenn., who said he was discriminated against because he is a white male. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed.

In light of the court rulings, nearly 3,000 applicants had their grants revoked.

The Creme Coffee House

A coffee shop in Owensboro is among businesses across Kentucky preparing for Friday’s return to full capacity, as the state emerges from the shadow of COVID-19 with vaccines readily available and the number of cases dramatically reduced. 

One young owner took a big risk when she bought a small Daviess County business in the midst of the pandemic and guided it through the economic and emotional turmoil of the past year. 

Brooklyn Patterson became owner of The Creme Coffee House in May 2020. It was a time when many small businesses were wiped out as a result of mandated closures, limited capacity and COVID-19 ravaging families and communities. 


Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky restaurants say they can expect to see an immediate loss in customers following the latest round of coronavirus recommendations from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, according to the Kentucky Restaurant Association.

Restaurant Association President Stacy Roof she’s disheartened the governor’s office has singled out the restaurant industry, which endured more than $550 million in losses in Kentucky in April alone. Her members are telling her they can see an immediate impact from the governor’s words.

“I’m glad to see that there’s encouragement to get food from restaurants in a carryout way. I’m discouraged by the fine print that kind of says stay out of dining rooms,” Roof said.

Cheryl Beckley | WKU PBS

Two prominent Kentucky restaurant owners say that without direct support from the federal government, they will have to shut down their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ouita Michel, owner of eight restaurants in central Kentucky, and Ed Lee, owner of 610 Magnolia and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, say that coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurants have made it nearly impossible to stay open, and that federal support has been deficient.

Michel says that her restaurants can’t rely on takeout orders to stay open as Kentucky now only allows restaurants to have 25% of their occupational capacity.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Indoor dining at restaurants across the Ohio Valley is “reopening” under new guidelines. Kentucky, and West Virginia are requiring these businesses to at least temporarily reduce maximum occupancy, among other social distancing recommendations. 

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has set out the most stringent requirements and suggestions for food service of the three states. Restaurants in Kentucky cannot exceed 33 percent of their maximum occupancy. Additionally,  Beshear has suggested that people not living in the same household should not be permitted to sit at the same table.

Kentucky Restaurant Association President Stacy Roof said requiring reduced capacity is a challenge, and places with outdoor seating will have an easier time than those without it. 


Hickory & Oak

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that all bars and restaurants in Kentucky will close to in-person traffic starting 5:00 Monday evening in response to coronavirus.

Beshear also announced the first death due to the disease in Kentucky–a 66 year-old man from Bourbon County, who Beshear said had “numerous” other health factors.

Beshear said that the death should underscore why Kentuckians should try to help stop the spread of the disease.

 


A New App to Cut Restaurant Wait Times

Apr 4, 2012

Bowling Green entrepreneur Eric Littleton has created an IPhone app to check out local restaurants for expected wait times, daily specials, happy hours and more. Joe Corcoran spoke with him about how he turned a dream into a reality.