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Brewed Coffee Shop remains open as court hearing begins

Posted at 12:08 AM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 00:08:30-05

(LEX 18) — On Monday, as the neon 'open' sign remained on in Brewed's window, Lexington Fayette County Health Department inspectors told the court what happened at the coffee shop last week.

"When I entered the facility, I saw that there were people to my left," explained health inspector Karen Sanders.

The problem is Gov. Andy Beshear's current coronavirus order bans in-person dining in Kentucky.

According to the health inspector's testimony, Brewed Owner Andrew Cooperrider said they were operating their dining room like a patio since they had their garage door partially open.

"I let him know that it needed to be 50% walls - open to the elements," testified Sanders.

Sanders said she told Cooperrider if he wanted to stay open, he would need to stop indoor dining, but he told her he wouldn't do that.

"We let them know that at this point, their permit would be suspended," said Sanders.

A senior inspector, Denny "Skip" Castleman, also testified that he went to Brewed to assist Sanders in serving the enforcement notice that ordered the business to close. He testified that's when the situation became tense.

"I turned around to put my paperwork in my truck, and I turned around, and I had - I'd say - 15 to 20 people standing in front of me, and Mr. Copperrider [was] fairly upset. He's cursing at me a little bit and getting very close," said Castleman. "At that point in time, I started to wonder what was going to happen next because I wasn't sure if they were going to allow us to leave since they were around both of our vehicles. And I didn't see the situation going to improve with me trying to have any discourse, so I got in my truck, and no one prevented us from trying to leave, but it was looking a little ugly there for a while."

Last week, Cooperrider told LEX 18 News he had a reason for following the inspectors outside.

"The number one reason why was because I was in here with legal counsel," Cooperrider explained. "When they handed me the paper, and legal counsel said to ask for the public hearing, I said, 'I want a public hearing,' and I wouldn't have followed him to the truck if he would've turned and said, 'heard you.' I had to follow him to his truck saying, 'I want a public hearing.'"

On Monday, Cooperrider didn't take the witness stand in court. However, his lawyer argued that since there is a lack of clarity surrounding the governor's orders, Cooperrider should be allowed to keep his indoor space open as a venue. Currently, venues can have 25 people inside.

The health department's lawyer fought back on that claim, saying that while a business can fall under more than one category, Brewed was operating as a restaurant; therefore, indoor dining is not allowed.

No word on when the court will issue a ruling.