Lexington restaurant taking on addiction

A Lexington restaurant is giving recovering addicts the opportunity to start from scratch. After losing 13 employees to addiction over 10 years, two Lexington restaurant owners are taking on the opioid epidemic through life-changing food.

DV8 Kitchen hires people in treatment for addiction using the restaurant as a tool for recovery and rehabilitation.

Rob Perez knows restaurants. He and his wife own three popular eateries in Lexington, but his newest one is different.

“We felt like it was important to try to figure out how to have a business that was socially conscious in a more meaningful way,” said Perez.

Perez not only knows restaurants, he knows addiction. “We’ve lost 13 people at our other restaurants in 10 years. We watched the best staff member, the best server we’ve ever had, do heroin in our bathroom,” said Perez.

Perez himself is a recovering alcoholic. DV8 kitchen is his passion project. “It stands for deviate from your past lifestyle and that’s what we’re really trying to do,” he said.

Serving up breakfast and lunch, the restaurant hires people in treatment for addiction using the restaurant as a tool for recovery and rehabilitation.

“Currently we have 18 of 23 employees that are inactive early stages of recovery from drugs or alcohol,” said Perez.

When the restaurant opened last fall, Perez admits business started slow.