Baton Rouge restaurants, bars making changes for New Year’s celebrations amid coronavirus

Restaurants, bars in Baton Rouge making changes for New Year’s celebrations amid coronavirus

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The new year is fast approaching, and many of you are going to want to ring in the new year.

Several restaurants and sports bars are getting ready to welcome their customers for the most anticipated year, but in a safe way.

Celebrations may be different, but restaurant workers are doing all they can to make it a great time.

“We’ve managed to shift things around and just constantly be adapting, you know, we have to make sure that we’re providing what our guests want and what they need,” said Gretchen Kelso, kitchen manager at Mid City Beer Garden.

Mid City Beer Garden says they will be focusing on keeping groups small and in their own areas during the celebrations. They will not be able to accommodate a group bigger than 15.

2020 is almost over, and many folks around the Baton Rouge area are ready to move on to a new year,

“I mean this year has been crazy and difficult for a lot of people on a small scale and also on a very personal scale,” says Chelsea Dufrene.

Even though 2020 wasn’t the best year, it doesn’t mean people will not enjoy the last few hours of it.

Places like Mid City Beer Garden are hoping people will join them before the clock strikes midnight.

“We are absolutely hoping people will come out. We’ve had great support from our community and our neighborhood. You know, Mid City is a really tight knit neighborhood. We’ve been looking out for our staff, our guests since this whole thing started trying to make sure everybody is safe,” says Kelso.

Mid City Beer Garden is going all out for 2021. Staff and guests will cheers to the new year with a champagne toast at 10 p.m. since alcohol sales can’t be served after 11 p.m. while the state is in the modified phase 2.

New Years Day will be anything but typical. The beer garden is making adjustments for their New Year’s Day brunch to make their customers feel safe.

“We want to establish traditions and right now with everything changing, seeing that it won’t necessarily go back to the way it was. Maybe some new traditions won’t hurt, some safer traditions if you will,” says Eric Douglas who is a manger for Mid City Beer Garden.

While the Beer Garden has only been open for 16 months, managers say they are still trying to find their identity and navigate the pandemic like many other businesses, but as long as the customers keep coming their doors will be open.

“I think the people here care about the people who come here. It’s a small business that has supported this community for a really long time,” adds Dufrene.

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