Alcan Closing To Impact Local Restaurants

When Alcan Cable shuts down its Bay St. Louis plant in August, it will impact more than the 117 people who will lose their jobs. Area restaurants that count on business from those workers will be hurt as well.

The owners of J's Seafood Restaurant in Waveland say Alcan Cable and its workers have been good customers of theirs for years.

"It will have a very big impact because we do a lot of take out orders. Sometimes they'll come in once or twice, three times a month to feed everybody in the meetings. They'll do anywhere from 10 to 30 "to-gos" which is a pretty good volume to put out," Restaurant Manager Vickie Rheaume said.

She says those big orders often range from $80 to $200 each.

"They bring their families in for dinner, so that will be an impact on us also."

The Cajun Kitchen in Waveland also has steady customers from Alcan.

Owner Hugh Fouquet told WLOX News, "I cater 80 percent to the working people in Bay St. Louis and Waveland, and I really feel that it will have some impact on me because most of my business has to do with manual labor, labor people. I don't get to many other type in here for lunch."

He says he can't put a number to the amount of money he stands to lose but says it will be substantial.

"If one customer is lost, that's too many."

"The Lunch Box" restaurant in Bay St. Louis has had a long history of doing business with Alcan. Managers there say the loss of Alcan's business will mean between $2,000 and $3,000 a year for its business.

"Besides losing a business customer, we're going to lose individual customers. A lot of times Alcan Cable, as a business, hires "The Lunch Box" to do catering for their meetings their Christmas parties. Alcan Cable is a big company and it's a lot of people that we're feeding. It will add up," Lunch Box manager Stephanie Boswell said.

She says she can only hope a new business with lots of employees moves into the Alcan building.

Alcan Cable is scheduled to close its doors for good in mid August.

by Al Showers