NEW IBERIA — This week, Iberia and St. Martin parishes recorded COVID-19 positivity rates below five percent. Because it's the second consecutive week those rates have been below that mark, the respective parish governments are allowing bars to reopen under Phase 3 rules. The Quarter Tavern in New Iberia was open within minutes of the news.
"We weren't even open five minutes and we had people here drinking. They were just ready to come out, and you see the people outside, the weather is perfect for it, they're just ready to mingle and tired of the stupid rules we have," Quarter Tavern owner Ty Baudoin said.
Bartender Esperanza Salazar is back on her feet, serving customers for the first time in six months.
"I'm a single mom, my daughter is one year old," Salazar said. "Our unemployment is down to 200 dollars a week, it's really hard to survive off that."
"It made me proud that we have people who are willing to fight, not only for themselves, but for their employees," Salazar said.
"We're glad to be open," Baudoin explained. "And hopefully he leaves us alone, everyone follows the rules, and we're done with that."
While they are open, business isn't as usual. Under the phase 3 guidelines, bars must stop selling alcohol by 11 pm. Patrons are also not allowed at the bar.
"We have to serve them outside, which isn't a problem. We're happy to be back," Baudoin said.
"With all the time I have been home from work, I'm just happy to be back," Salazar added.
According to Baudoin, the ATC and the State Fire Marshal are allowing them to have live entertainment, something Baudoin has already booked for the weekend.