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Winter's coming, and bars need to adapt amidst pandemic

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Posted at 10:20 PM, Sep 06, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Labor Day Weekend may have brought beautiful weather, but the unofficial end of summer means bar owners are starting to think about how they will adapt to our new reality in colder weather.

Paul Murphy, the owner of Horse and Jockey in downtown Lexington, is prepared to invest at least $10,000 into his bar ahead of this coming fall and winter.

"[$10,000] was just to do upstairs," he said, of the quotes he's received this week. "Just to put a frame and plastic enclosures upstairs. But to do the rest of the place, I don't know if it's even feasible."

With limited capacity allowed indoors, bar owners like Murphy are forced to get creative with their outdoor space in order to stay afloat, even as they try to contend with other problems.

"The biggest challenge is the curfew," he said, pointing to Governor Andy Beshear's mandate requiring bars and restaurants to serve their last drinks at 10 p.m.

Murphy estimated that his bar does about 70 percent of its business after 10 p.m.

"Nobody knows when this is going to end," he said.