’It’s obviously disheartening:’ Bar owners prepare to shut down again with new restrictions

Mayor announces more COVID-19 restrictions.
Mayor announces more COVID-19 restrictions.(FOX 8)
Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 9:54 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor Cantrell announces more restrictions as coronavirus cases climb in the city.

Bars and restaurants will no longer be able to sell take out drinks starting Saturday morning at 6 a.m.

Barrel Proof Owner Robert LeBlanc says his bar opened about two weeks ago, and how he has to shut down again.

"It's obviously disheartening. I feel like we've done everything in the right way. We followed all the rules, we've done take out only, and we try to keep people from congregating and we still wind up having to close back down," LeBlanc said.

Although closing again is frustrating, he says he understands the mayor's decision.

"The reality of it is as a community, we have to work together and get this thing under control, so if this is what it takes, then this is what we have to do to be a part of greater good, then we'll just deal with it," LeBlanc said.

In the Warehouse District, Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant says it will operate only as a restaurant starting Saturday.

"It's a shame, but I totally understand why we're going in that direction, but us being a restaurant and us being responsible with our social distancing, with all our sanitization procedures and stuff like that, making sure we're keeping everybody safe, our guests and employees included, we're really trying to stay on top of the ball," Bar Manager James Williford said.

He said despite the closure of their bar, their bartenders will remain employed.

"We do a lot of cross training, so our bartenders, they can wait tables,if they're not bartending behind the bar, they can still have different jobs in different facets, and they've been extremely extremely fluid and flexible with their jobs," Williford said.

Visitors on Bourbon Street were disappointed to learn about the new mandate.

"It kind of sucks that we came out here for no reason, but it's understandable because of Covid, but again, if you're going to shut everything down, you might as well just shut everything down," Miya Spenord said.

Those who live in the quarter say they're not seeing the gatherings that's been shared online.

“There’s hardly anybody here. You see a few crowds once in a while on bourbon, but not lately. I mean, there’s people milling around the streets. most of the time we go in to get a take out drink, and there’s not a single person in the place,” Chris King said.

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