“I love it”: Bars reopen under city’s phase 3.1

Molly's at the Market serves to-go drinks
Molly's at the Market serves to-go drinks(WVUE)
Updated: Oct. 3, 2020 at 8:30 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Phase Three of reopening the city meant the French Quarter started to resemble its old self again.

Both tourists and locals alike took advantage of the day, enjoying the more relaxed restrictions.

Molly’s at the Market just reopened their doors, and a constant line for to-go drinks kept bartender, Brandie Tilander, busy.

“It’s been absolutely nuts, I opened at 12 p.m. and haven’t stopped moving. I love it, I’m excited the other day when I got the call I was jumping around so excited,” Tilander said.

In what the city has dubbed Phase 3.1, both packaged liquor sales and to-go drinks will stop at 11 p.m. While some tourists say that robs them of the New Orleans experience, Tilander says she has no problem if it’s in the interest of safety and her job.

“That’s too early, especially on a weekend. That’s way too early so I don’t like that,” said Shaquitta Wooten from Atlanta, Ga.

“It kind of makes it a little better for me because if I’m the only one here I don’t have to police how many people are wearing their masks, how many actual people are in the bar,” Tilander said.

It seems the announcement reopening bars means more than that though.

“It almost makes me cry because I love doing this, seeing my friends, seeing faces throughout this whole time. I’ve been able to recognize and just being able to see everyone on this block perfect. I’m so happy,” Tilander said.

You could see that love and care when longtime customer, Taylor Gaines greeted her with an elbow bump.

“Seeing everybody back in action just knowing friends of mine that are going back to work it’s really that’s the bottom line, I’m happy for everyone,” Gaines said.

Gaines himself just started work again as a tour guide and says the Quarter’s undoubtedly changed in the weeks and months since the shutdown.

“I’m certainly nervous working down here in the French Quarter around so many people just taking precautions, people have been super chill when you just ask ‘put your mask back’ anything like that everyone seems to have no problem. Signs of life returning to the Quarter,” Gaines said.

And on a beautiful day, it’s easy to see the life return as businesses and sights reopen and the friendly faces that come with it.

“It’s just nice to see people I haven’t seen in a while doing well, and let the good times roll I guess,” Gaines said.

According to the city, we could move into Phase 3.2 as early as October 16.

For bars, that would mean allowing outdoor seating.

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