French Quarter bars reopen after Mardi Gras closure

Bars across the city of New Orleans are reopening after closing ahead of Mardi Gras day.

French Quarter bars reopen after Mardi Gras closure
In the French Quarter, bars like Fahy’s Irish Pub are open for business. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - On Wednesday, just one day after Fat Tuesday, many bars across New Orleans are able to reopen after being closed for four days. While some bars are choosing to stay closed for a while longer, others are excited to reopen.

In the French Quarter, bars like Fahy’s Irish Pub are open for business.

“I’ve been looking at these empty streets for a year now,” said Fahy’s bartender Sarah Hicks, who is happy to be serving up drinks again.

“We’re excited to make some money and make up for the weekend we lost,” she said.

While the Mardi Gras weekend usually brings in a lot of revenue, Hicks believes the mandatory closure was a good decision in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I think the shutdown has a direct effect on it [positivity rate],” she said. “I was happy we were shutdown. I didn’t feel safe.”

Hicks said she felt “ok” about giving up this year’s Mardi Gras day of business for people’s safety.

Andrew Babin, bar manager at Crossing-- another bar in the French Quarter-- said it felt great to reopen the doors for guests and get back to business.

“We were kind of disappointed that we had to miss out on all the revenue over Mardi Gras weekend, but we understand why it happened,” he said.

And for both Babin and Hicks, the reopening of their bars was a great way to see some familiar faces.

“I’ve had a lot of regulars stop in for their ‘one and done’ because it’s still pretty cold to be drinking outside,” Hicks said. “But they’re showing their support getting the one drink and moving on.”

Babin said he hopes his bar can get back to more normal day-to-day operations now that the COVID positivity rate is trending in the right direction.

“I think it’s a blessing for everybody, and I’m happy for all of our bars to be able to return to somewhat normalcy,” he said.

On Wednesday, the City of New Orleans announced all bars and breweries can open to 25 percent indoor capacity, as long as COVID-19 positivity rates do not increase and stay below the 5 percent mark.

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