Libby's New Patio Arrives Just in Time for Reduced Indoor Capacity
Libby's Southern Comfort, a popular new-ish bistro in downtown Covington, recently opened a new patio at its Eighth Street location.
The timing was somewhat fortuitous, since Governor Andy Beshear recently ordered a reduction in the capacity for indoor dining to 25 percent.
Full outdoor dining is still permitted.
RCN caught up with Libby's owner Brad Wainscott to ask how things have been since the pandemic took hold of the world - and the restaurant industry here and beyond.
RCN: How have things been going since all this started?
Brad Wainscott: It’s been crazy. I feel we’ve been fortunate; carry out was amazing then that slowed down, then carry out bronze went crazy! Then when Cincinnati was under fire Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week was huge for us. The last few weeks we’ve actually seen about 90% pre-Covid sales.
RCN: Were you seeing an increase in customers when restrictions lifted previously?
BW: Definitely but then it slowed back down some when masks were mandated, and carry-out picked back up again.
RCN: What do you hope the new patio offers guests?
BW: The opportunity to safely and comfortably eat and drink outside at Libby’s without worrying about the weather. A great vibe where they can enjoy the food and cocktails they’ve come to love.
RCN: Are you concerned about the reduction in capacity?
BW: Absolutely. Even with a covered patio, 25% of a smaller restaurant is scary. We know a lot of people in the business flat out will not make it on 25%. Really sad to see what this is doing to the restaurant industry; our hearts break to see our friends in the business going through this, too.
RCN: Will the new patio help offset some of the indoor disadvantages?
BW: Yes, that is our plan. It allows us to seat guests rain or shine. Adhering to social distancing guidelines still limits the number of tables on the patio but at least week can use them no matter the weather.