Area businesses say they’re adapting to Phase Two extension

Savvy Southerner

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) — Business owners are adapting to Governor John Bel Edwards’ recent decision to extend phase two of reopening. Some restaurants close to LSU’s campus decided to close their doors after health officials identified a cluster of positive cases at Tigerland bars.

While some have closed up shop, other business owners said they are adapting to the times. Changes at Perkins Rowe retailers and restaurants will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

“Everyday they’re out here sanitizing benches, rails, anything they can touch or that people can touch,” said Jinya Ramen Bar general manager Rachel Simon. Perkins Rowe management also placed hand sanitizing stations throughout the outdoor shopping center.

Simon said her restaurant was heavily impacted by the stay-at-home order. “We’ve had to make so many different accommodations throughout the complex to fit the needs of our guests,” said Simon, ““Going from 80% dine in sales and 20% to-go to 100% to-go sales in a matter of a week, you have to be able to make accommodations for our guests.” 

Shopping center management also placed signage in front of specially-marked parking spaces for customers to pick up take-out orders from restaurants. Retailers make up the majority of the businesses in the area and are operating under reduced hours with extra safety measures in place.

The store manager for Kendra Scott Mayrie Irving, said her business has been making adjustments gradually under the Governor’s orders. “We started with strictly curbside, so we were only doing contactless payment, contactless shopping – no customers in-store,” said Irving. “We transitioned to light in-store shopping and since we’ve entered phase two, we’ve been able to bump up our capacity.” 

Shopper Carrie Higdon of Baton Rouge said she feels comfortable shopping at Perkins Rowe alongside her toddler. “It feels a little different, but we’re not scared to come out. People are doing their part, so you feel safer to go out,” Higdon told BR Proud.

Irving said her store is giving back in the process, and the overall message of the times remains the same for everyone. “We’ve given over $4300 to Our Lady of the Lake Foundation to keep it in there that we are in this together and we are a community and we’re here to help everyone.” 

Perkins Rowe is also in the process of bringing back their outdoor events. They are currently offering free barre classes. More information and ticket information here.

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