N.O. Bar and restaurant owners rejoice as people drink & eat

Torri Donley

Victory’s biggest challenge is making sure people were aware that New Orleans bars close no later than 11 p.m. under the city’s Phase 3.1 guidelines. NEW ORLEANS — Bar and restaurant owners said they were pleased to see foot traffic after many of them were closed or had their businesses […]

Victory’s biggest challenge is making sure people were aware that New Orleans bars close no later than 11 p.m. under the city’s Phase 3.1 guidelines.

NEW ORLEANS — Bar and restaurant owners said they were pleased to see foot traffic after many of them were closed or had their businesses capacity limited by local and state mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Saturday marked the first day New Orleans city leaders moved into Phase 3.1, a modified gradual move into Phase 3 that the rest of Louisiana has already implemented.

Tourists from Mississippi, Texas and elsewhere lined Bourbon Street waiting for their chance to get a to-go drink, something made available again for the first time on Saturday.

“Thank God that it came out 3.1 was starting,” Daniel Victory who owns Victory Nola in the Central Business District said.

Victory Nola has been closed because of the pandemic.

Victory said he’s glad to see foot traffic and people trying to get back to normal. 

So far, foot traffic is at 30 percent of normal, Victory said. Victory’s biggest challenge is making sure people were aware that New Orleans bars close no later than 11 p.m. under the city’s Phase 3.1 guidelines.

“Last night, I had people coming at the door at 11:30 p.m.,” Victory said. “Sorry. We’re closed. The biggest message for me is ‘Go out earlier than the norm.'”

Under Phase 3.1, restaurants can have up to 75% capacity indoors, and outdoor seating capacity isn’t limited.

Victory said he doesn’t want to see people getting sick from his shop, planning to do his part to prevent the spread of COVID.

“It’s a slow process. People are starting to come out, but we have to teach some people about wearing masks inside the door until they get to the table,”  Victory said. 

City officials said they’d monitor coronavirus case numbers, and if they see a spike, it could lead to postponing loosening restrictions. Otherwise, Phase 3.2 is scheduled for Oct. 16.

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