Brewed stops serving food & drink; still open as ‘community event space’

Brewed stops serving food & drink; still open as ‘community event space’

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A Lexington coffee bar is still refusing to follow Governor Beshear’s mandate after a court order.

Tuesday, a Fayette County judge granted a temporary restraining order against Brewed. That means the restaurant has to follow the rules. But it has not.

The question now is what happens next.

When Brewed opened Wednesday morning, they were not violating the judge’s order because the health department hadn’t paid the $5,000 bond. The health department has since paid that and Brewed has stopped serving food and drink.

However, the open sign is still flashing and there are customers inside. That’s because owner Andrew Cooperrider says they are now operating as a community event space.

“Obviously, you can still buy your beans and things from us. We’ll be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. as a community event space,” Cooperrider said. “So, max occupancy 25, you can still come in and sit down and enjoy your time and you know we’ll still be open in that way. We’ve got to pay rent anyways. Might as well enjoy the space for a little bit.”

Last week, when Lexington Police was asked by the health department to shut down Brewed, police said the matter was a civil one and not one that law enforcement could take action on. However, in a statement to WKYT late Wednesday morning, Lexington Police said the following:

Last week Lexington Police was called about Brewed being in violation of the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Order for indoor dining.  After discussing the situation with the Health Department, a violation of this Executive Order was determined to be a civil matter and not one that law enforcement could take action on. Claims that Lexington Police “refused” to shut down the business are inaccurate. We have been in contact with the Health Department regarding steps going forward in light of their court case.

Lexington Police expects all personnel to be aware of their actions, particularly while in uniform, and how those actions reflect on the department as a whole. Reports have been made that two officers were seen patronizing Brewed Wednesday morning. We will address this report with any officers involved.

The restraining order that the judge put in place is tied to the governor’s mandate, which expires on December 13 when the indoor dining mandate expires.

If that mandate gets extended then the restraining order will also be extended.

Cooperrider tells us he does expect to get his food and liquor permits back and be able to start serving again as soon as the governor’s emergency order expires.

In the meantime, Cooperrider says it’s been a back and forth that’s about more than just his coffee shop.

“I think the majority of people, maybe they didn’t support it, but I think they at least understood that small businesses are dying and they understand that with small businesses dying we can’t just roll over and die we have to ask more of our elected leaders to get better solutions,” Cooperrider said.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.


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