'Come and take it!' Lexington coffee shop defies lockdown orders

'Come and take it!' Lexington coffee shop defies lockdown orders

A coffee shop in Lexington, Kentucky that defied lockdown regulations to shut down has had its food serving permit revoked on Tuesday.

Brewed owner Andrew Cooperrider stated that he plans to continue the shop’s operations despite the order. Cooperrider stated that the shop was operating inside with a garage door opened 6 to 12 inches, but an inspector who visited the premises told him that it did not meet the state emergency order requirements for a heated patio.

The inspector cited the shop for customers not wearing masks, in violation of the city’s mask-wearing mandate, stating that the shop had to close.

After receiving a warning from the health department to close its indoor dining area, Brewed, the cafe refused to abide by the restrictions, resulting in its food permit being revoked.

“While on-site for a routine health inspection at the establishment, we observed that the establishment was continuing to allow in-person dining,” stated Kevin Hall from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. “The establishment manager was served an enforcement notice requiring that in-person seating be discontinued, which was refused. We then served an enforcement notice to suspend their food permit for not following the executive order guidance.”

Despite warnings, Cooperrider persisted, stating “I asked what would happen if I keep on serving.” He says that the health department couldn’t tell him what the repercussions would be.

“The worst that could happen is we close ... I go to jail for a bit,” he said. “What am I facing now, locked up inside my house with losing my businesses. ... I have more to gain by resisting than I do to comply.”

Cooperrider said that he has the sign displayed as required and “if people want to still come in and eat and drink, I don’t see that as an issue.”

In another post on Facebook, Brewed issued a statement: “They issued this order. Cant answer what happens if we keep serving. Untill (sic) we are pulled out in handcuffs you can come get our coffee at Brewed. Thanks for the community support.”

Cooperrider stated that his business is willing to comply with regulations and close shop if the government would “pause business,” additionally putting a stop on rent and other bills while establishments are required to shut doors, so he would not lose the coffee shop.

Losing a business earlier this year during the first wave of lockdowns and restrictions, Cooperrider lost his Dean’s Winter in Wilmore, he stated: “I would like the end result to be that we stop having arbitrariness to it. ... Put us in a position where we can succeed,” he said. “Back in January, I was a millionaire. Now I’m on food stamps. ... I understand about us dying but I care about us living."