Popular Denham Springs eatery hopes to reopen next week after closing last month amid coronavirus

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Cafe DuJour at the Whistle Stop
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(The Livingston Parish News) – After closing its doors last month amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a popular local eatery is hoping to serve its hungry customers as early as next week.

Cafe DuJour at the Whistle Stop, located in the Denham Springs Antique Village, has plans to reopen next week, owner Kristine Van Winkle said on the restaurant’s Facebook page Tuesday night.

The announcement comes the same week that Gov. John Bel Edwards extended his stay-at-home order through May 15. Though restaurants are still prohibited from allowing on-site dining, customers are now allowed to eat on the premises if there is outside seating available.

Van Winkle’s lunchtime hotspot, known to regulars as “The Whistle Stop,” has an outdoor patio and seating — not to mention grassy areas around the building, which the owner hinted at possibly being used in her Facebook post.

“We are planning to open curbside, take-out and patio next week (maybe even picnics!),” Van Winkle said. “Soooo, hope to see y’all soon!”

The Whistle Stop closed in March amid the coronavirus, which has forced many businesses to shut their doors or lay off employees and resulted in record numbers of people filing for unemployment and federal loan assistance.

Van Winkle, who has owned the local restaurant since October 2012, said she did “everything we could do to keep the doors open,” which included offering to-go and delivery options. But Edwards’ order to shut down all on-site at restaurants statewide, through least April 12 at the time, put her “in the negative” and forced her to close shop for the time being.

She’s hoping that’s coming to an end soon.

“I miss y’all so much, and can’t wait to do what I love,” she said.

Over the closure, Van Winkle said she’s spent her days at her beloved restaurant, saying she “started with deep cleaning, then went on to painting, now countertops.”

“[I] wanted to reach out to you guys to let you know The Whistle Stop is still here and stop by and see the progress!” she said in the post.

David Gray | The News

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