Louisville bar owners face financial strain as Beshear closes bars again, limits restaurant capacity

Louisville bar owners face financial strain as Beshear closes bars again, limits restaurant capacity

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As coronavirus cases escalate, bar owners in Kentucky have been asked to shutter their doors once again.

Gov. Beshear on Monday announced new restrictions requiring bars to close for two weeks. He also rolled back restaurant capacity from 50% to 25% indoors. Restaurants with outdoor seating will be able to operate at 100% capacity with social distancing guidelines.

“It’s not fair to those that have done it responsibly and I’m not going to pretend like there are some small businesses that won’t make it through this,” he said.

At 3rd Street Dive in downtown Louisville, owner Lynne Frost is having déjà vu. After closing in March, Frost reopened her bar at the beginning of July only to close her doors again before the month ends.

“So why close down the bars that are following the rules?” Frost asked. “We are doing temperature checks, hand sanitizing, gloves, and masks.”

Frost says she encourages social distancing and even does her own contact tracing but she knows others are not as responsible.

“I wish that there would be enforcement for the rules and the people who are disrespecting and disregarding the rules would be cited,” she said.

Kevin Stranatka at Baxter's 942 Bar & Grill is trying his best to survive. He closed his bar down a week ago and he continues to have trouble making ends meet.

“We had three months of no revenue, my PPP is up, my forbearance on the bank for three months is up so we’re already paying a mortgage,” he said.

Bar owners like Frost are going through a similar financing struggle with no end in sight.

“I’m going to go bankrupt, there’s no way I can survive this,” she said. “And who knows if it’s just going to be for two weeks, at the end of two weeks it could be another two weeks. It’s frustrating.”

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