It isn't every day that the New York Times profiles a local restaurant. But Lexington's DV8 Kitchen isn't just any restaurant.
The social enterprise, opened by Rob and Diane Perez last year, focuses on hiring and training people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and gives them a second chance, something that Rob Perez knows first hand as a recovering alcoholic.
The Times piece focuses on how DV8 Kitchen helps address issues that crop up frequently in the restaurant and bar business, where employees work often night hours and have easy access to drinks.
In restaurants, Rob Perez told the Times, “There are more late nights than early mornings, and it’s acceptable to have a hangover. You think all this is fun and normal, because everyone else has that lifestyle.”
The piece also pointed out that Lexington, even though it is "a charming, pasture-draped city known around the world for its horse farms" hasn't been immune to the opioid crisis: "There hasn't been a single day since July 2016 when paramedics have not administered Narcan, the lifesaving drug for opioid overdoses, to at least one person, said Lt. Jessica Bowman, a public information officer for the Lexington Fire Department," wrote Times reporter Priya Krishna.
That's what makes efforts such as DV8 Kitchen unique, the Times reported. The Perezes focus on training people on baking cinnamon rolls as well as on life skills such as living in recovery. To help employees make evening support meetings, DV8 Kitchen only serves breakfast and lunch most days., focusing on breads and rolls.
“We are not certified experts on this, nor do we claim to be,” Diane Perez told the Times. “We are just providing the piece of the puzzle that is giving people a job right away when they are getting clean.”