Willie’s Chicken Shack locations close for violating COVID-19 restrictions

Local businesses forced to close due to non-compliance

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans shuts down Willie's Chicken Shack following a weekend of numerous complaints.

"Yea there's always people. All over, there, all over Canal Street," Noor Salem, Denim Den Co. Manager said.

Business owners by the Canal Street and Decatur locations say they saw Willie's Chicken Shack serving take out alcoholic drinks throughout the weekend.

"I was just surprised to see I guess the brazen attitude with which to-go drinks were being sold when we were all just trying to follow the rules," Konrad Kantor said.

“We saw them doing the to-go drinks, and we know it wasn’t what everybody wanted them to do, it wasn’t necessarily following the rules, but then all of a sudden we all got the little message on our phones Willie’s Chicken Shack is shutting down,” Sophia Girodano-Scott, with Road Kill said.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell said overall, businesses complied to the new COVID-19 restrictions over the weekend.

However, she called out Willie's Chicken Shack for the amount of complaints they received.

"There was a lot of attention there, and of course my task force was on the ground, and as a result of that, those locations are closed and will remain closed throughout the pandemic," Cantrell said.

Some bar owners say they're frustrated by those not following the rules.

"A lot of local businesses get thrown into that, well if the French Quarter would just close, then every other bar doing it right would be ok, but it kind of hurts us a little bit for people to not see that some bars in the French Quarter are very much local bars," Manolito Owner Konrad Kantor said.

Some retail workers next to Willie’s Chicken Shack on Decatur say they had an unusually busy weekend.

"We had a lot of bridesmaids, groups of people that have come to spend the weekend, and they definitely stopped in for drinks and stuff like that, so I think a lot of people gravitate towards the to go drinks, but not today," Sophia Girodano-Scott, an employee at Road Kill said.

Although some businesses agree with the mayor's decision to shut down Willie's Chicken Shack, they worry how it will affect them.

"I think everything on this street depends on each other, cause people will get the food, then they'll walk around a little bit, they'll buy stuff. So yea, everybody definitely depends on each other here," Girodano-Scott said.

FOX 8 reached out to Willie's Chicken Shack regarding it's closures, but did not hear back.

Cantrell said the locations will be closed fro the remainder of the pandemic.

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