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Joe Bologna's holding on during hard times

Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 14:57:03-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Joe Bologna's is in the heart of Lexington where it serves up pizzas and Italian food.

The restaurant has operated out of a 19th century church building on West Maxwell for 30 years now. Joseph Bologna started the business well before that.

"We've been in business 47 years," Bologna said.

Joseph said the opening allowed college students and downtown Lexington to get some good pizza.

"It was worth the hour wait to get in," Bologna said. "We'd serve until two in the morning. A lot of times we'd have lines until two in the morning."

After all these years, Bologna's dining room closed for the first time, which has left a hollow feeling inside the normally boisterous old church walls. Carry-out and delivery services allow Joe Bologna's to do business, but it is far from the norm.

"We're so used to staying busy, and all of a sudden we're doing 25% of our normal sales," Bologna noted. "Like I say, you still got all the overhead and you've got to keep paying the bills."

Joe Bologna's has survived five recessions, but what is going on in the world right now is affecting his business in ways it has never been affected in 47 years.

"I'll be 75 in three weeks and I still enjoy working. I still enjoy working with the kids," Bologna said. "Hopefully we'll work hard and get to our 50th anniversary."