NEWPORT, Ky. — On the same day Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s mask mandate went into effect, music - and music fans - returned to a popular Tri-State venue Friday night for the first time since March.
"We're just really excited," said Morrella Raleigh, owner of The Southgate House Revival. "We’re kind of taking it one day, one show at a time. It’s usually a very festive environment, so we hope to maintain that.”
Raleigh welcomed a masked and socially-distanced crowd of about 50 back into what once was a historic church designed to hold hundreds.
In deference to COVID-19, tables were 8 feet apart, and everyone’s temperature was taken at the door.
But just being able to have artists take the stage once again was cause for celebration.
“I think it will be a while before we get back to our normal big shows,” Raleigh said, “but if we can get people back to it in small ways, I think that will be a good first step.”
Raleigh said she hopes to bring back her full staff as soon as she can. She thinks requiring masks across the commonwealth helps level the score for businesses of all kinds, since customers will face the same rules everywhere they go.
“We’re kind of taking all of those things and paying attention to everything we can,” Raleigh said.
For now, she’s looking at ways to keep patrons safe and keep them coming back.
“After this weekend we’ll find out for ourselves, and I’m sure we’ll make adjustments from there,” Raleigh said.