NewsCovering Kentucky


Winter storm leads to restaurant closures, adaptations for ice and snow

Posted at 8:21 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 20:21:32-05

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — With another round of winter weather on the horizon, many business owners have made the decision to close early or close for the day to avoid dangerous road conditions.

Brady’s Sushi and Hibachi owner Wen Lin made the call to close the restaurant on Tuesday after a second wave of winter weather covered roads in ice and snow.

Lin said they were ready to reopen on Wednesday, but they experienced a delay after struggling for more than an hour with a thick layer of ice surrounding the restaurant’s parking lot.

“I don’t want people to slip. I would hate seeing anyone get hurt. That would be the last thing I ever want,” Lin said.

She said this is another layer of challenges that restaurant owners are facing. Lin said the pandemic took a big toll on the financial stability of many local businesses. This month’s cold weather has many potential customers eating in and has led to some short days or short weeks.

“Our sales compared to last month and last year were actually down by 30-40%,” Lin said.

However, she said she’s hopeful that they’ll experience more stability with spring coming soon.

Meanwhile, at Purdy’s Coffee Co., a layer of ice is preventing owners from opening the front door.

“I was talking to the plow guy and he said that the ice is so thick that the blade from his truck can’t get underneath it,” said owner Kara Purdy.

Purdy’s Coffee Co. is another local business in Richmond that closed on Tuesday because of the winter weather.

“If I couldn’t get out of my driveway because of the snow, I wasn’t going to ask my staff to leave their homes,” Purdy said. “When we started this coffee shop, we wanted to be about people and about building community. You can’t do that if you’re going to be thinking about money. It’s about loving people, but keeping people’s safety in mind.”

The coffee shop reopened on Wednesday for drive-thru service only.

“That does not tempt customers to come in and get out of the car and fall on the ice,” Purdy said.

Purdy said some business has been impacted, but the drive-thru has allowed for a steady stream of customers to order coffee. They offered a free drink to road crew workers as a token of appreciation for their hard work the past few weeks.

“We’re here for those people right now. To show, like, ‘Hey, I know it’s hard but we’re here for you.’”

Brady’s Sushi and Hibachi also offered a free meal to road crew workers, especially after local contractors tracked owners down to offer assistance with snow and ice removal in their frozen parking lot.

Both restaurants closed early to allow staff to travel home safely.

They said the plan is to open on Thursday, weather permitting.