While some aren’t following the rules, many Baton Rouge bars taking pandemic seriously

While some aren't following rules, many Baton Rouge bars are adhering COVID-19 guidelines

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It seems as though a number of bars in the Baton Rouge area are getting a bad rep about possibly spreading the coronavirus, especially after a COVID-19 cluster was discovered at Tigerland.

Bella Noché
Bella Noché (Source: WAFB)
Bella Noché
Bella Noché (Source: WAFB)

But many area bar owners and employees say they’re following all the guidelines laid out by the governor’s office. Whether it’s sanitizing the building before customers arrive, offering face masks, or not allowing seating at the bar, both Bella Noché and The Lost Cove say they’re abiding by the rules and are doing their part to keep their employees and patrons safe.

Bars across the country are just trying to survive.

“We have all the ordering at the bar, and we just ask that people be ready to order when they get here,” said Ciara Hazey, an employee at The Lost Cove on Essen Lane.

The Lost Cove is a whiskey bar that serves craft cocktails and food. Right now, they’re only allowing 40 people inside the place at a time.

“All of staff wears masks, we wash our hands pretty much after all interactions, we wipe down our menus and our checkbooks for people, we have hand sanitizer on the bar for customers, and we have masks for people as well if they want them,” said Hazey.

Patrons can sit at one of the bar’s tables, which are spread apart, or outside on the patio, right after they place their order at the bar.

“Pretty much everybody has been cool about keeping their distance and like, following all the guidelines that we put out. I think they’re just kind of excited to get out,” said Hazey.

The Lost Cove
The Lost Cove (Source: WAFB)
The Lost Cove
The Lost Cove (Source: WAFB)

Bars that don’t serve food, Bella Noché, can operate under 25% capacity. The club on Plank Road is taking precautions as well.

“We check everyone’s temperature to make sure they’re not running a high fever, and if they are, we don’t allow them in the club. Also, before each opening, we have the building sanitized, all the hand rails, counter tops, railings, door knobs, everything,” said owner, Quincy “Q” Quiett.

Quiett says they hire a company, Baton Rouge Sanitizing, to sanitize the building at least twice a week.

“In that process, we are going to make sure we clean, everyone is safe. All our employees that are serving drinks, they have the mask on, so you know, we’re just doing our part,” said Quiett.

Of course, it’s still possible to get COVID-19 anywhere, so as these businesses open back up, they say they’re trying to promote a safe environment.

“Everyone has different options, everyone has different opinions. You know, you choose to go out, you pick where you want to go, and have a nice time, do your social distancing,” said Quiett.

“If you’re having like nervous feelings, wear your mask in, take your mask off at the table while you’re eating and drinking, then put it back on when you come up to the bar to order, and just wash your hands a lot,” said Hazey.

In Phase 2, bars and clubs will not get approval for their request to host live music in their venues. The Louisiana Department of Health and Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal will reconsider applications for potential approval in Phase 3.

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