NEW ORLEANS — The taps are flowing again at bars and breweries where the owners are eager to welcome guests back inside.
Friday morning, New Orleans eased some restrictions and now, up to 25% occupancy is allowed inside. The city’s positivity rate is below the state’s 5% threshold.
Bars and breweries are elated they can serve people inside, outside, curbside or to-go.
“I’m so happy that bars are open again and we can go in! It gives me peace and it like feels good,” said Urban South Brewery customer Laura Jean Clark.
At Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant, they were actually pretty busy while bars were closed. They’re minutes from the French Quarter so regulars and visitors were stopping by.
“So, we push our tables up against the bar so that way you can still get that bar feeling experience here and our bartenders come up to you at your table and get you service,” said Jade Conino, a server at Lucy’s.
Lucy’s is used to having to pivot when the city’s guidelines change.
“We just let people know we are at capacity and we either ask them to politely step outside to wait or we offer to-go. If we can’t accommodate having you indoors, we can still take care of you right away,” Conino said.
At Urban South Brewery, when bartenders could not serve, management found other creative ways to keep their staff employed.
Abby Perkins, Marketing Director at Urban South Brewery said, “Whether or not they’re bartending, they were able to help us in the back of house as well.”
The bartenders were able to help package beer to-go. The brewery also offered their taproom staples as four-packs.
“People really do care about the local businesses here, they care about their local brands and coming out to support us. We’re just so appreciative of that,” Perkins said.
Customers are hopeful people follow the rules and don’t ruin the taste of freedom that’s back.
“I’m really happy we’re in the right direction and are hopefully going to keep those numbers down,” Clark said.