Highlands bars file class-action lawsuit against Governor Beshear

Owners of Dundee Tavern and The Back Door claim the state's new mandatory restrictions are slowly putting them out of business.
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
“It’s just very important that we have the right safeguards and processes in place,” Governor...
“It’s just very important that we have the right safeguards and processes in place,” Governor Andy Beshear said Tuesday in reference to schools reporting COVID-19 cases.(governor.ky.gov)
A ban on alcohol sales past 11 starts in an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in...
A ban on alcohol sales past 11 starts in an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in South Carolina, especially among young adults.(Live 5 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Two bar owners in the Highlands are fighting back against what they call “unconstitutional” state COVID-19 guidelines.

On Friday, the owners of Dundee Tavern and The Back Door combined to file a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Andy Beshear. The 21-page document accuses Beshear’s new coronavirus guidelines for bars to be unconstitutional, asking the state for compensation for income lost. On August 11, bars in Kentucky were allowed to reopen after a second forced closure but were required to stop serving alcohol and 10 p.m. and to close at 11 p.m.

On Friday, the owners of Dundee Tavern and The Back Door combined to file a class-action...
On Friday, the owners of Dundee Tavern and The Back Door combined to file a class-action lawsuit against Governor Andy Beshear.(Courtesy: WAVE 3 News)

The lawsuit also requests compensation for income lost due to the reduced hours.

“It’s been devastating,” Alan Hincks, owner of Dundee Tavern, said. “There’s really nothing that we can do and it hurts. And it is getting to be on the point where you’re going to see so many places that just cannot survive this.”

John Dant, the owner of The Back Door, said the new restrictions have been crippling because his business makes a majority of its money after 10 p.m.

“The bulk of my business, my food business and bar business, is from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m,” Dant said. “So it’s six hours of lost income, basically.”

Hincks feels the state is “targeting” bars and said a curfew should not be mandatory, so long as the businesses can follow the strict health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

“What we are looking for as business owners is a sense of someone is taking care of us in our industry,” Hincks said. “We don’t feel, we know, that our industry is being targeted.”

Hincks is not sure the lawsuit will get the target off the backs of bar owners but said since the lawsuit became public, other business owners have contacted him to add their names to the suit.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.