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Local Restaurants Report Increased Business Following Extended Bar Curfew

Retiazsha Chambers

  Two locally-owned western Kentucky restaurants have reported an increase in customers since Governor Andy Beshear extended the bar curfew, although only one is taking advantage of the opportunity to extend hours of operation.

Christina Crumble, general manager at the Big Apple Grill and Bar in Murray, said business has increased since Beshear extended Kentucky’s bar curfew by an hour on Sept.15


Previous executive orders from the governor’s office allowed restaurants to operate at 50% capacity beginning June 9. Since then, Crumble said the Big Apple has made many changes to indoor and outdoor seating.


“Lucky for us, we have the biggest covered patio outside so we have a lot of room to space out our tables, so the 50% capacity hasn’t affected us too much,” Crumble said.  “So we've definitely been following guidelines to make sure everybody is staying safe and healthy. Any recommendations [Gov. Beshear] puts out, we’re gonna follow.”


Crumble said Big Apple customers are still coming in to watch sports on Saturday and may continue to once the Big Ten season returns on Oct.23. Crumble said she has also noticed a significant increase in Murray State University students coming in daily. 


“College students have been the main customers that come in towards the later times at night, we like to see that,” she said


Not only is there an increase in customers, Crumble said, employees are finally getting back to their normal work schedule. In January, the Big Apple hired three student workers who lost hours during the shutdown in May. 


Hoyt Moore, general manager of the Keg Bar and Grill in Fulton said he hasn’t, and doesn't plan on changing his business hours. The Keg is currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and closes at 10 p.m. on weekends.


“I haven't increased my time, I’m still closing at 9 p.m. We used to be open til midnight every night.” 


Similar to the Big Apple Grill and Bar, the Keg has also made adjustments to the restaurant in regard to the pandemic. 


“I’ve socially distanced everyone and all my tables are six feet apart. I went from 14 bar stools down to four. All my employees wear masks and it works out fine,” he said. 


Although the Keg did not take advantage of the extended bar curfew, Moore said they've received more customers. 


“A lot of our customers are from out of town. We still have a few regulars that come in,” he said. “Everybody has gotten used to my hours now so we’re all good with that, really I plan on staying with these hours.” 


The Big Apple is a financial contributor of WKMS.

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