Bars and restaurants in Kentucky will reopen for indoor service on Monday after nearly per month of limited operations.

In November, Gov. And Beshear ordered new restrictions on a number of spaces, including restaurants, bars, gyms, indoor recreation facilities, event spaces and theaters. Bars and restaurants were not able serve patrons indoors during that time, instead they'd to depend on outdoor seating, delivery and carryout.

Some from the hardest-hit establishments were the ones that promote themselves weight loss than the usual bar. Play Louisville, for example, is known more for its drag shows and dance floor than the items on its food menu.

Play Louisville is a nightclub that generally stays open until 4 a.m., owner Micah McGowan said. And also the restrictions and curfew have been difficult.

“We’ve honestly kind of had our whole identity stripped from us,” he explained. “And even though we’re permitted to operate under really strict restrictions, I mean, people are accustomed to coming out to experience after their night or like a later night experience. To need to try to rebrand inside us the middle of a pandemic, to say it has been challenging could be an understatement. We’ve seen a loss of 95% within our business since March.”

Since March, McGowan estimates that Play continues to be shut down for 26 weeks out of 40. Other establishments relied on outdoor seating and takeout options during the newest restrictions.

But McGowan said those options weren't viable at Play.

“We don’t sell something that you can remove,” he said. “We have a patio, but we don’t really provide a patio type experience. Then when the governor, this last bypass, said this is not a shutdown, I am talking about, it was a shut down for us and for many companies that don’t possess a patio, or don’t offer takeout options.”

Antz Wettig, who co-owns Zanzabar together with his brother Jon, said he considered shutting down like Play.

“This newest shutdown, we might as well been shut down,” he said. “I mean, when you force a bar or restaurant to sit down outside, we’re not in Florida, we’re not in California, where it’s bearable. Like some nights in Louisville, it’s within the 20s. No one’s going to sit outside and drink a beer.”

But Wettig instead moved forward having a focus on delivery and takeout service, something the bar hadn't done a lot of in the past. Zanzabar also faced a drawback, since it's mostly noted for its concerts.

Without live music, business has been tough. And also the restrictions have made it even tougher. Now that indoor service can start up again, Wettig said, “what's lost sheds. We will need to start over.”

“The most effective scenario for all of us right now, and I think lots of restaurants that are within this, is to break even, which since March, I’ve only done twice,” Wettig said. “In September and October, we broke even. And those were the only two months we even got near to creating the main difference. But we have not designed a nickel in profit because the shutdown on March 16.”

McGowan also had doubts about the efficacy from the shutdown in slowing the spread from the virus. He said when bars and restaurants in Louisville are turn off, many people simply go over the bridge to Indiana.

“People are likely to go over there because there’s no restrictions, and there’s more COVID,” McGowan said. “Now, people are likely to drive drunk back across the river. Secondly, other people are just likely to have house parties and have gatherings. Therefore the best option is always to require bars to follow [guidelines], make everyone wear a mask, make everyone be as safe as you possibly can within the bar, and actually send out enforcement on those bars that aren’t following the rules.”

Kentucky broke its record for daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, your day Beshear announced the restrictions would be lifted. McGowan sees this as an indicator that Beshear might be more reluctant to enact another shutdown.

“I would honestly, at this time, kind of be amazed when we had another shutdown,” McGowan said. “Him allowing us to reopen on the day that we have 4,300 cases- I think he sees that bars and restaurants aren’t the only real industry that’s spreading this. I believe that may finally be considered a realization there. But you never know, at this time, it’s 2021. Everything’s on the table.”