NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana bar owners are speaking out, asking Gov. John Bel Edwards to extend closing past 11 p.m.
The curfew has been in place for months due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, and the New Orleans service industry has continued to struggle, prompting a grassroots social media campaign asking Gov. Edwards to ‘please end closing time’ that went viral on Friday night.
“It’s a little struggle being at 11 p.m. because in this industry obviously, you know when people get off of work at different restaurants, they like to have cocktails afterwards and they spend money and they tip well.” Tracey’s Irish Pub owner Jeffrey Carreras told WGNO’s Anna McAllister.
The Garden District bar owner told WGNO his business is down 87.2% from 2019 to 2020 and extending the hours just a little would help his business tremendously.
“It would be great, that would just give us a couple more hours to you know, couple three hours more of generating revenue,” said Carreras, who also shared the Instagram post. “I mean, that’s usually our busiest time of the night, is after hours.”
So far, there’s been no official response from Gov. Edwards’ office about extending bar hours.
Right now, the state is in Phase 3, and all alcohol sales must end at 11 p.m.
However, the current COVID guidelines expire Wednesday, March 31, and Gov. Edwards will have to decide the next move for Louisiana.