NewsCovering Kentucky


Angel Tree program built to help restaurant workers

Posted at 9:25 PM, Dec 02, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With the temperature dropping and snow falling, some Lexington restaurants have made the tough decision to temporarily close their doors until indoor seating is permitted again. In the meantime, people in the community have stepped up to help the servers.

Cole Arimes is the executive chef and owner of Epping's On Eastside and Cole's on Main. He says the income at both restaurants, especially in the cold weather, has drastically gone down.

"We shuttered Epping's this week due to the fact that the business was starting to wane. At Cole's, typically on Monday and Tuesday, we would probably do anywhere from 60 to 70 people. This past Monday, I think we did 12. This past Tuesday, we did about 14, not including carry-out," Arimes said.

Arimes says both of his restaurants had done everything they could to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"But I think they respect our decision to go ahead and shutter, knowing that better times are coming, and that when we open back up, we can really put the screws back to it," Arimes said.

Epping's is just one of a few Lexington restaurants who announced temporary closures. Mindy Foley's daughter works in administration for Bluegrass Hospitality Group. Mindy came up with an idea to help, an angel tree program.

"I was immediately thinking about, not just the restaurant owners and what such a huge struggle this is, but all of the people that work there," Foley said. "This is not just them missing out on a week or so of work, because this is the busiest time of the year."

Mindy says she already has filled about 80 requests and has more people who are willing to give.

"They don't expect to need help and now that they're in a position that they do, some are reluctant to ask or to take it. And to those people, I would say let your friends help you, because everybody wants toe," Foley said.

If you would like to sign up to help or for the program, email