Restaurant workers among next to be vaccinated

Restaurant workers are part of the group to get vaccinated starting March 1st. Local eateries are glad to hear the news.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 8:07 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Waitresses and cooks at your favorite restaurants will be able to get their first doses of the vaccine starting March 1.

For restaurant owner Barry Washington, the news that his staff could get vaccines if they choose is great news.

“We want to get back to opening up our restaurants as close to full capacity as possible,” Washington said.

Washington owns three restaurants -- two Barry’s Cheesesteaks and one Papa B’s Chicken and Fish.

When WAVE 3 News caught up with him Tuesday, he was in the middle of developing new recipes for Papa B’s Chicken and Fish, which will soon open along Oak Street.

And even though he’s launching a new business now, he said recently that he was hit hard while trying to expand his cheesesteak business along Bardstown Road.

“Soon as we planned our grand opening, COVID hit, and it shut us down,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do. I ended up losing about $400,000.”

Washington said he’ll be getting the shot and would like his employees to get it as well.

“I’m encouraging everyone to get it done,” he said. “Of course, people have they’re own free will.”

That means he’s not requiring his staff to get it. And he said he will be making some changes to his Bardstown business, once enough of his staff have gotten the shot.

“We can do the seating a lot better and feel more comfortable in serving the community,” Washington said.

He added there will still be social distancing and precautions taken, but as more people get vaccinated, his confidence grows.

At this point, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear hasn’t lifted restaurants from operating at 50 percent capacity. But he did say he might relax operating producers as more people get the vaccine.

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