LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear’s executive orders on masks and occupancy were upheld Friday afternoon though the debate is likely far from over. But even if these orders had been struck down would businesses have immediately gone back to operating the way they once did? Perhaps, but not all.
“We’ve changed so much over the last 12 years,” Jon Wettig recalls sitting against the performance stage inside Zanzabar on South Preston Street. Along with his brother Antz, the two have built one of the most rocking neighborhood venues and bars in Louisville. They were hitting on all cylinders this year and then without warning, in March, a pandemic pulled the plug on everything.
“Cancelation after cancellation after cancellation. It never ended,” Jon Wettig said.
The shutdown happened at what would have been the brothers’ biggest March to date.
“It was going to be a record month for us,” Antz Wettig confirms.
Now they are pulling in, and this is real, 1 to 2 percent of their usual business before the shutdown. As bleak as it is, the brothers say the masks and physical distancing are the best way, for now, to prevent a second shutdown.
“We’re keeping our heads up and we are rolling with the punches because we believe in everything Beshear is doing. He’s doing it right. You look at the map and you look at the colors Kentucky has more cases now just like every state but we’re still yellow,” Antz Wettig said.
Zanzibar touts a popular dinner menu and the brothers have expanded their patio seating and are even exploring hosting outdoor music shows in their lot across the street.
“We are absolutely on board with wearing masks and washing your hands and staying 6 feet apart all these guidelines make complete sense to us. It’s ruining our life but it’s saving our life too.”