"At this point, every minute that we can open counts because it has gotten to the point where it's really tough to hold onto it.”
With Louisiana now in Phase 3, some bars are able to re-open, but with restrictions. As part of Phase 3, bars can reopen in parishes where there is a percent-positivity rate of 5% or lower for two consecutive weeks.
Right now in Acadiana, those parishes are St. Landry, Jeff Davis, and Acadia. Bars can reopen, but are limited to 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is less.
One bar in Crowley is already open for business.
It’s not business as usual just yet at City Bar. Last call for orders was at 10 P.M. and everyone had to be out of the building by 11 P.M.
The bar opened their doors for business at 5 P.M. and old regular customers poured in.
It's been at least six months since customers have been able to sit inside City Bar. Wednesday morning, Acadia Parish was added to the list of parishes able to reopen under Phase 3. Owner Chad Monceaux started making preparations last week.
“We started doing some cleaning and touching up and getting things prepared last week, then when we found out Friday evening that we were not one of the five parishes in the state that would be allowed to open, we kind of backed off a little bit and then started again this morning,” said Monceaux.
"This need to be permanent."
Customers like Selena Guidry haven't set foot in the bar since March and couldn't be more excited to be back.
"It's great. I've actually been looking forward to this for awhile. I like to sit down, visit, drink my beer. It's good,” said Guidry.
Amid the pandemic, precautions will be taken. Bars must follow social distancing guidelines and it's table-side service only - and no live music. Monceaux says it's a step in the right direction.
“I would like to see that extended and I'm sure I speak for a lot of bar owners We don't want to turn anyone away, but unfortunately we are going to have to at some point. We have to follow the rules, we have to follow the order,” he said.
Bars will be allowed to remain open in Phase 3 as long as the parish's percent positivity stays at 5% or lower. The rates will be updated by the Department of Health every two weeks.
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