Business owners fear new restrictions amid Mayor Broome’s ‘strong concern’ of COVID-19 cases

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – At Pastime restaurant Downtown, tables and chairs are empty, sometimes for days. The owner, Randy Wesley, has barely been able to keep the doors open during the pandemic.

Now he’s bracing himself by preparing for the worst. There’s a possibility more restrictions will be introduced at Mayor Broome’s news conference on Thursday.

“I have a very strong concern about the compliance that’s not taking place among some members of our community,” Broome said on Wednesday.

If more restrictions are implemented, Wesley says that may be the final straw.

“How am I going to survive?” Wesley, the owner of Pastime, said. “Without having any customers come in here, I have no idea how I’m going to pay the bills that I left behind today. It just seems to be getting worse and worse.”

Jay’s Bar-B-Q is another restaurant feeling the financial impact of the pandemic. But Richard Newton, the owner, is one of the lucky ones.

“We have a very loyal customer base, and our regulars keep us going,” Newton said.

Newton has a drive-thru and says if the mayor does limit the dine-in capacity, it will be frustrating, but luckily it won’t break him.

“Without that drive-through, we would’ve taken an even bigger hit and really feel for those that don’t have that option,” Newton said.

As everyone waits to find out what the mayor will do, restaurant owners say they don’t know how much more they can take.

“If [mayor broome] goes back to a modified phase 1, or phase 1, or phase 2, or anything besides forward right now, it’s going to kill a lot of businesses,” Wesley said.

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