Lexington restaurants react to long-awaited full capacity announcement

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Governor Beshear says, effective June 11, Kentucky will be returning to full capacity for all venues and events.

This has been a change these businesses have been waiting for. The owner of Bourbon and Toulouse in Lexington tells us they’ll be making permanent changes based on the way they operated during the pandemic.

Many businesses were already trying to figure out how to react to the governor’s announcement about the changes to the mask mandate.

Friday morning, the owner of Winchells told us they aren’t requiring masks for customers or vaccinated workers, but unvaccinated workers will still be required to wear them.

The president of the Restaurant Association told us there are still a lot of questions about how that order should be enforced, but it looks like that won’t be a question much longer.

While all restaurants were affected, some were hit harder than others. Those with smaller dining rooms, like Bourbon and Toulouse, had to close them completely.

They tell us they plan to continue with their expanded carry-out business, going as far as adding a window that should be completed by the time they open their dining room.

“We’ve been running a curbside and delivery business only for 14 months and to transition now to a completely different concept which is going to be curbside delivery and dine-in, which we didn’t use to do before,” said Kevin Heathcoat, Bourbon & Toulouse. “It’s a big task and it’s a big challenge that we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to face it. I just like everything we’ve done in the pandemic we’re gonna have to pivot once again and figure it out and we’ll do it.”

Heathcoat told us they will still have their vaccinated employees wear masks for the time being, but that will be a day-to-day decision.

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