The masks are back on at some Baton Rouge restaurants as the delta variant of the virus has caused a fourth spike in cases.
Most of the staff at The Overpass Merchant have been wearing masks for the past two weeks, beverage director Bryan Messina says. If staff are vaccinated, they can choose whether to wear a mask.
Brew Bacher’s on Drusilla Lane has also gone back to masking up, manager Ladrakus Thomas says, something that began last week when cases began increasing again.
Azteca’s has not asked staff to wear masks yet, says bartender Hayden Lichtel, but may do so in the next couple of days.
The restaurant has, however, seen a steep drop in sales in the past three days, Lichtel says. The downtown business relies heavily on state workers, he says, some of whom have again stopped going into the office.
Chow Yum Phat, however, has not seen a decrease in sales yet, manager C.C. Henson says, but she is noticing that, even though it has been hot outside the last few days, requests for outdoor seating have increased. The restaurant’s patio allows customers to be more spread out, she says, which may provide guests a sense of security.
Outdoor dining became popular during the early days of the pandemic, with many local restaurants adding patios for easier social distancing.
Some Chow Yum Phat employees are again wearing masks, though it remains optional, Henson says, and guests are also now encouraged to wear them.