Nearly three weeks after receiving the green light to reopen after being shut down for three months, bars across Baton Rouge are seeing mixed results in sales.
Pamela Sandoz, owner of The Bookstore on Airline Highway, says she’s seen most of her customers come back to the bar but it’s not enough to make up for the 90 days out of business.
“I’m cautiously optimistic but concerned to see how I’m going to make up for that long lost revenue, and the loss of building momentum for my new business,” Sandoz says, adding that she celebrated the bar’s one-year anniversary in April home alone. “COVID-19 threw a horrible monkey wrench and speed bump in my plans. I expected to have my business built to a certain stage by now.”
After being in the bar business for 20 years, Sandoz says the amount of community support she’s seen through the pandemic has been touching. One of her regulars, 2020 King of Spanish Town Scot McDavitt, is using his stimulus money to throw crawfish boils at his favorite watering holes around the city, including at The Bookstore on Friday evening.
Quentin Little, general manager of Splash on Highland Road, says business has been mixed at the nightclub. The nightclub mostly hasn’t had a problem with the capacity restrictions, he says, because the capacity on the building is high to begin with, but staff are trying to encourage people to wear masks. He says customers are coming in earlier in the night to make sure they can get in.
While he’s happy to be back in business, Little says he doesn’t understand how a bar with a food license can have 50% capacity, but bars without food can only have 25%.
“There’s no difference,” Little says. “Eating food doesn’t make you safer.”
Read on for the full story, which originally appeared in Daily Report‘s June 17 edition. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.