New Orleans restaurants will be able to expand capacity to 50% as city enters Phase 2 Saturday

Updated: Jun. 12, 2020 at 9:30 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -While the rest of Louisiana has already entered into Phase 2 of reopening the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic, New Orleans will start phase 2 Saturday.

That means New Orleans restaurants will be able to expand their capacity to 50%.

One restaurant group CEO tells us business in surrounding parishes,like Jefferson and St. Bernard, is doing extremely well.

“Since the shutdown in mid-March our businesses in St. Bernard Parish, West Bank, Jefferson Parish and on the East side have done some amazing numbers compared with last year. We’ve done 200% better, some of them 20%, in St.Bernard we did close to 300%. I guess people are just frustrated and they wanted to get out and do some drive up daiquiri business,” said Marviani Ammari, CEO of Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts.

But, Ammari says his restaurants in the French Quarter, Warehouse District, and CBD are only doing between 10 and 30% of their normal business.

As the city joins the rest of the state and enters into Phase 2 Saturday, Chef Michael Gulotta expects bigger numbers.

"We're opening at 50%, we've marked it out, I spent all day yesterday measuring it and cleaning the deck up, trying to get us to a point where everyone feels comfortable, where our guests feel comfortable, where our staff feels comfortable," said Gulotta who owns MoPho.

Gulotta says servers will wear masks and he's asking customers to do the same until they get to their tables to eat.

"We put a sign next to our front door asking everyone to wear masks for the safety and comfort of our staff and for other guests, we're also putting a stack of disposable masks next to the door," Gulotta said.

Ammari says his focus now is trying to get locals to come out and support the city’s restaurants as they move into Phase 2.

“We need to kind of invite people and be ambassadors to our city and invite the locals to come in from the metropolitan area and also from neighboring states to come in and visit because the French Quarter has never been cleaner and never smelled as good as it is today and it is just a unique time to go and visit,” Ammari said.

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