Gonzales bar gets permit back after paying fine, week suspension for violating Covid-19 mandates

Local News

GONZALES, La. (BRPROUD)– The Pelican Pub in Gonzales now has their license back after paying a $250 and being suspended for a week for disobeying the Governor’s Covid-19 Mandate.

Owner of the Pelican Pub Joshua Johnson, is questioning why casinos and restaurant bars are allowed to stay open but his bar cannot.

“In the last week I’ve been to quite a few restaurant and bar combos here in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette and also a few casinos,” Johnson said.

“I’ve seen they are able to operate business as normal, as usual, I’ve been in bars like ours you know where we are rubbing elbows with people and shoulders and no masks.”

After his experience he is calling on all bar owners to take action.

“We are the little guy right? It’s our livelihood and I would say to stand up for what’s right, I feel like it’s unconstitutional like other business owners do,” Johnson said.

Johnson is requesting for the Governor to consider the lives impacted by the current economic situation.

“I’m doing this for mainly my employees that depend on their salary, for my customers who have my business and also my family, we depend on it too so that’s where we are at with it,” Johnson said.

The owner of Swamp Chicken in St. Amant will be faced with a difficult decision at the end of the month.

“On August 28th the next update, either I’m going to open up and say screw the Governor and lose my license or file for bankruptcy, I’m not spending any more money out of my pocket to keep the doors open,” Swamp Chicken Owner Wesley Simoneaux.

“I’m going on five months now, no money coming in and no help and you still got bills to pay.”

The business owners say they are in this together.

“How can you discriminate against a bar and not everything else?” Simoneaux said.

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