New Orleans restaurants and retailers welcome beginning of Phase 3

Phase 3.1 for New Orleans restaurants

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Jack and Nancy Watson are visiting from Philadelphia but used to call New Orleans home and say they’re very familiar with how the service industry has been struggling, which is why they say even though the point of their trip was canceled, they still decided to come.

“When everything first happened and things were getting canceled and we saw that the french quarter fest, which we’ve been to before and loved it, was getting postponed until this week, we bought plane tickets and thought everything would be good by now and we’ll go in October and everything will be great. But you know, obviously that didn’t all pan out.”

The couple says they’ve still enjoyed their stay and noticed more foot traffic this morning as phase 3 began, but even still the precautions are very apparent.

“We are definitely trying to support local businesses while we’re here."

“Compared to some other places we’ve been in the last 6 months, people are being really good about it.”

Deborah Schumacher owns Slim Goodies Diner on Magazine and says the one thing that hopefully will come from finally moving to phase 3 is that it will encourage residents to feel more comfortable heading outside their door in a safe manner.

“I believe that it’s more of a public perception thing than it is about the operating businesses," said Schumacher.

“I think that as a business owner, you take into consideration what your public wants. Everybody has increased to-go orders and what we actually do in house, but the State Fire Marshall really does require that you maintain safe distances between tables, and unless you have a huge operation, going to phase 3 and 75% capacity is virtually impossible.”

Some uptown retailers say that even though they are allowed to move to 75% capacity, they likely won’t for now just to be safe.

But do expect more foot traffic in and out of the store.

Schumacher says it has been tough for all business owners in New Orleans watching the rest of the state re-open faster.

“It’s very awkward to have Orleans parish be in one stage and Jefferson parish be in another stage."

"It’s very awkward for people to be able to understand. It’s like driving across a state line where one state is in lock down and the other is not.”

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