The forced distancing measures required by the novel coronavirus has prompted city governments across the nation—including Baton Rouge—to consider closing off, narrowing or repurposing streets and sidewalks in downtown areas to make room for dining tables.
In Baton Rouge, the city-parish is being flexible with restaurants in portions of downtown that have wide sidewalks, allowing them to offer cafe-style seating on sidewalks without a permit.
“We want our businesses to do well, and them making these temporary accommodations for customers who prefer to sit outside makes sense,” says city-parish government spokesman Mark Armstrong.
While Armstrong was unable to define how long the flexibility would last, saying there isn’t a “real time limit” on the allowances, he did add that the Downtown Development District office can assist businesses with the permit application to allow it permanently.
Batch 13 already had three tables outside before Gov. John Bel Edwards closed the state’s restaurant dining rooms. Since then, the restaurant has added an additional four to five tables for customers, says general manager Quentin Guillory.
“In the beginning, (the coronavirus) impacted us like everyone else, but as we learned to adapt and adjust through limited menus, family meals and expanded outdoor seating, we’re boosting business how we can,” Guillory says.
Read on for the rest of this story from Daily Report‘s Wednesday, May 27, edition. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.