ABC erred by revoking license of Lexington cafe that defied COVID rules

A Lexington cafe owner who defied numerous local and state COVID-19 restrictions could regain his liquor license after a Fayette Circuit judge sided with him against the Department of Beverage Control alcoholics and its board of directors on Tuesday.

Andrew Cooperrider, who ran the Brewed coffee and beer store on Malabu Drive, can now hold a hearing with the ABC board to get his license back to sell alcohol. The store closed in spring 2023 and has not yet reopened.

Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis ruled that ABC’s board had the right to initially suspend Brewed’s license, but it went too far when it permanently revoked the license for noncompliance of Beshear’s executive order requiring masks and restaurants to close for in-person dining. .

Travis’ decision overturned the ABC board’s order revoking Brewed’s license.

Cooperrider made regular headlines during the pandemic when he refused to stop serving indoors; Brewed was closed in November 2020 by local authorities as a result of these actions.

He also has attempted to impeach Governor Andy Beshear and launched his lawsuit against Beshear following the loss of his alcohol license.

In 2022, Cooperrider ran for state Senate against Sen. Donald Douglas, R-Nicholasville, falling short by about 12 percentage points in the GOP primary. The following year, he finished second in a three-way race in the Republican primary for state treasurer, receiving 29% of the vote to Treasurer Mark Metcalf’s 51%. In both races, Cooperrider was largely overtaken.

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Travis, who previously alongside local authorities in their dispute against Cooperrider at the height of the pandemic, wrote that the changes adopted by the state legislature in 2021 House Bill 1 should have led to a different result. The law project limited the authority of a governor to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies.

“In summary, this Court finds that the Department of ABC acted within its legal authority when it initially suspended Brewed’s licenses on an emergency basis,” Travis wrote in his order.

“However, in its ongoing proceeding against Brewed, in which it also permanently revoked its licenses for an alleged violation of this type, it exceeded its authority by applying standards higher than the ‘least restrictive’ available. The ABC Council should have implemented HB 1.”

Cooperrider took to social media to celebrate the order.

“While the denial of my license prevented Brewed from opening in a new location after our lease expired, the decision represents a huge positive step forward in remedying this situation and sends a clear message that Beshear must respect state law no matter what. ..

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