With Spanish Town canceled, downtown bars and restaurants prepare for yet another financial hit

How Mardi Gras will effect downtown Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The tip jar at Poor Boy Lloyd’s has a lot less money in it these days.

On an average day pre-Covid Erika Blythe would bring home about $150. This Saturday she will be lucky to make $50.

“It’s really, really hard,” Blythe said. “It’s really, really hard.”

This weekend should have been the biggest money making weekend of the year. The Spanish Town Parade rolls through downtown, making Third Street a popular gathering area for the crowds. They typically eat and drink in the bars and restaurants surrounding the area.

“That’s a big day, a lot of people,” she said. “It’s probably the busiest day for us.”

Saturday will be just like any other day now, slow. For waiters like Blythe that’s a huge hit financially.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber expects most bars and restaurants downtown to be empty this weekend. The lack of Mardi Gras festivities and the cold weather will keep most home. That means those businesses will be missing out on big money, money they desperately need.

“Think about not having tens of thousands of people downtown on 3rd St,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, said Andrew Fitzgerald, Senior Director of Business Intelligence at BRAC. “That’s going to hurt a lot of bars and restaurants a lot.”

Freddie Taylor, Poor Boy Lloyds’ owner said it’s making his restaurant harder to keep open.

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