Louisville restaurants juggle mask mandate, safety while trying to stay afloat

Many restaurants say it’s been tough getting everyone to wear masks, others say it’s been easy to monitor.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s a new world for restaurants trying to juggle COVID-19 restrictions, serving dozens of customers while trying to stay afloat.

Aaron Diaz, the owner of Noche Mexican BBQ in the Highlands, said wearing masks is one way their staff can keep the virus out.

“A lot of us aren’t here anymore because we had to close. What we’re trying to do is prevent that – from closing again,” Diaz said. “We’re in the hospitality industry so a lot of that goes down the root of caring for your customers.”

Diaz said many restaurateurs are asking customers to wear masks and have a little more understanding during these times. He said wearing them also makes others feel safe.

Wearing masks and crowd capacities are just some of the executive orders put in place by Governor Andy Beshear but as Attorney General Daniel Cameron tries to fight that, what would the restaurants do if the mandates were dropped?

Diaz said everyone should keep up the restrictions even if they are lifted because it prevents them from shutting their doors a second time.

Up the road, owner Alan Hincks of Dundee Tavern said closing again is unimaginable but sees most people following state guidelines.

“People are coming in the restaurant with the mask on, they are sitting down obviously when they are enjoying their meal, they are taking the mask off, when they are going to the restroom, they are putting the mask on,” he said.

As a restaurant they don’t have their own rules in place and if the Governors executive orders are lifted, Hincks says they will still refer to guidance. 

“We are not going to be yelling or telling people they’re doing wrong when they already know what the guidelines are. We still look at the CDC, we still look at the common wealth of Kentucky, we look at Jefferson County’s guidelines too.”

Hincks says it’s up to the people, to make their own decisions.

“If you don’t know what to do by now, you really don’t understand how for one thing how serious the COVID-19 is and also when it comes to businesses and how they have adapted to make sure that we do stay afloat.”

Contact reporter Jessie Cohen at JCohen@whas11.com and follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram  

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