GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — The last call ended at midnight Monday for Darrin Burchell's downtown bar, My Old Kentucky Foam Brewing Company. On Tuesday, Burchell spent the morning wiping down chairs and barstools that will be empty for at least the next two weeks following Gov. Andy Beshear's order to close freestanding bars on Tuesday.
"It may go two weeks, it may go four weeks. We don't know," said Burchell.
Burchell opened his business two years ago, never anticipating shutdowns due to a pandemic.
When all many Kentucky restaurants and businesses were closed for several months starting in March, Burchell says he lost $25,000 in beer inventory.
"If it happens again, we'll lose more inventory. Thankfully we don't have as much," said Burchell.
He says he understands Gov. Beshear is trying to stop the coronavirus from spreading, but he believes bars and restaurants are carrying a lot of the burden while large crowds protest and people return from vacations in COVID hot spots.
"You do what you can and do the best you can hoping to swim above this mire," said Burchell.
Shortly after LEX 18's interview with Burchell, he reached out to LEX 18 and said they were under the impression they had to close for being a bar, even though they are also a brewery. Read his apology below:
"We saw an early news story regarding Abettor brewery in Winchester. The news story stated that breweries did not have to close as microbreweries are considered different venues than stand alone bars. We investigated and were able to contact the ABC tonight and confirmed with Commissioner Taylor that this was indeed the case. We did not know this exemption of the July 28th COVID closings, but with it, we will be able to remain open with all the safe at work practices and policies in place. My mistake was assuming that this closure was under the same conditions as the March 16th closures. As previously stated, at the time of the interview, we were under the impression that we had to close because of this assumption. I in no way meant to intentionally deceive anyone. I was ignorant of this clause and after consulting with fellow brewers at Country Boys, they too where unaware of this clause. On this information, this condition may not be widely known.
We would like to thank you and Leigh Searcy; I am personally grateful for your coverage of small business owners and their continuing struggles during these difficult times. With this letter, I wanted clarify the record, report our status accurately, and prevent my ignorance from having other small businesses closing unnecessarily. If other owners have any doubt about the restrictions, please advise your viewers to contact their respective governing bodies regarding restrictions, in my case, the ABC. I hope that this correction helps others.
We are pleased to remain open and serve the public safely and I sincerely apologize for my ignorance and any problems it may have caused." - Darrin Burchell