Restaurant owners react to COVID-19 outbreak, possible return of restrictions

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 7:52 PM EDT
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WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - A grim reality began to set in on Tuesday for restaurant owners in Eastern Kentucky.

“I’m pretty discouraged by the fact that I feel like we’re just pretty much right back where we started at in a lot of ways,” Brad Shepherd of Heritage Kitchen said. “I feel like so many people have done everything right, everything that has been asked of them.”

Governor Andy Beshear said in a news conference on Monday that the Delta Variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly throughout the Commonwealth. Despite this, Shepherd said that he has not seen a decrease in business yet.

“Right now, we seem to be holding pretty steady. I’ve not even noticed a big increase in takeout or delivery versus dine-in,” Shepherd said. “All of that has been holding pretty steady like we have for the last couple of months or so.”

Shepherd also feels that his customers have yet to be alarmed by the surge.

“I haven’t noticed it yet but this is kind of a day-by-day situation we’re in right now,” Shepherd said.

He also offered words of encouragement to fellow restaurant owners and customers across the region.

“We’ve been through it once, if we have to do it again we will,” Shepherd said. “We came out pretty good on the other end and believe we will again.”

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