Louisville area restaurant owners excited by capacity increases, mask mandate changes

While the fully vaccinated can go without masks, capacity limits remain in place for Kentucky restaurants and many other businesses.
Published: May. 14, 2021 at 9:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky restaurant owners had an array of emotions to the news that business capacity increases are on the way on May 28.

“Having the ease of our employees being able to come to work and make good money. It’s music to my ears,” Nichelle Thurston, owner of The Seafood Lady, said.

John Tarullo, the owner of Volare, agreed with Thurston, saying it’s a step in the right direction. He’s been waiting for this for over a year now. Tarullo added that for many businesses, the pandemic has brought challenges; he can’t wait for June 11 when all restrictions will be lifted in Kentucky.

The restaurant’s executive chef talked about how it’s going to feel to see the restaurant once again filled to the brim.

“I think it’s going to feel odd to people at first that all the tables are back in and everything is closer together, but I think everyone is going to be excited,” Chef Joshua Moore said.

They added that since the CDC lifted the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people, customers no longer need to wear masks while dining in.

“For right now, we’re still going to have staff in masks. Obviously, guests coming in are vaccinated, no masks — so everyone is very happy about that,” Moore said.

Not every business owner is lifting the mask mandate while dining inside. Thurston said masks will still need to be worn while dining inside her NuLu restaurant.

“You will be required to wear a mask here. There is no question about that,” Thurston said.

She added even when all restrictions are lifted in June, masks will still need to be worn at The Seafood Lady. She said she’s not doing away with masks until enough of her staff has been vaccinated.

Beshear added that all businesses have the right to still impose mask mandates.

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