Bay St. Louis restaurant boils free crawfish for frontline workers

Updated: May. 3, 2020 at 9:31 PM CDT
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BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - One Bay St. Louis restaurant said thank you to first responders and medical workers Sunday with a free serving of crawfish.

Crawfish has been one of the most popular to-go orders at the Blind Tiger since it closed its doors in March and turned to curbside and pickup service only.

That was standard until the restaurant ran into a problem.

“We were notified by someone with the health department that the current way that we boil crawfish was not acceptable anymore," said owner Thomas Jenin.

Jenin complied but noted that he was expecting 30 sacks of crawfish Sunday morning, so he had to do something with the excess. He chose to give free bags to frontline workers helping fight the coronavirus outbreak.

“The hospital workers, nurses, doctors, urgent care clinics, cops, doctors,” he said.

The offer also extended to active military. People who came to pick up their free food were asked to show ID for proof.

The crawfish was also up for sale along with regular menu items for other customers. The long line seemed like an indicator of booming business, but Jenin said that is not the case.

“It’s a fraction of what we’re used to doing, especially around this time of year, but we’re keeping our core group of employees busy,” he said.

One employee said he feels lucky to honor all frontline workers to be able to work, despite the struggling service industry.

“I’m tickled to death to be able to do it. I’m proud to be here today as an American doing it," said the employee. “In our state to be able to do to-go orders and keeping our business open just a little bit, at a fraction of what it used to be, but even a little bit, I’m still proud to be here and happy to have a job.”

Jenin said he’s looking forward to seeing the restaurant re-open once health officials give the green light.

“We’re very eager to have at least outdoor meetings in a limited capacity," he said.

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