LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – A Lexington coffee shop is still open despite the governor’s and the health department’s orders.
Brewed owner Andrew Cooperrider has made it clear they have no intention of stopping indoor dining, saying he’s staying open until he’s in handcuffs.
We’ve seen a steady stream of customers come and go into Brewed throughout the morning on Wednesday. At one point, there was even a line out the door to get in.
The majority of customers we spoke to said it was their first time at the shop. They were coming out to support the business as they defied the governor’s mandate.
Last week, Governor Andy Beshear said there would be no indoor dining at restaurants in Kentucky for about three weeks. He said people eating inside without masks on was contributing to the rising COVID-19 numbers. But a few restaurants across the state have made it clear they will continue operating with a dining room.
Brewed’s owner said they had opened the garage door a little bit and he felt like that put them in the same category as restaurants who set up a tent outside. So, he said they will continue serving customers.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department tells us for those tents to qualify as outdoor dining, at least 50% of the sides have to be open.
One of the customers who came out Wednesday told us she felt like these businesses were being unfairly targeted. I think you can only say that, if you can back up what the health of the community needs, and when you make arbitrary closings, that’s what people have been saying this whole time is,” said Audra Meighan. “‘Why can I go to Lowe’s and spend three hours, but I can’t go eat at a coffee shop for 30 minutes?’ What’s safer about that?”
A spokesperson with the health department told us their preference is always for businesses to stay open.
Since the new COVID-19 related mandates have started, they have issued notices of corrections to businesses related to things like tents and wearing masks, but Brewed is the first business to get an order to close. Lexington police told us they would they were not getting involved because it was a civil issue.
Governor Beshear has said restaurants that do not comply could lose their liquor license. Brewed posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon saying exactly that had happened to them: