Parish bars given OK to open after special parish council vote

Amberjacks in Boutte welcomes patrons back after St. Charles Parish President Matt Jewell requested the parish council vote to allow on-premise consumption businesses to open.

“I had goosebumps,” John Ehrlicher said of the moment he walked in the door and turned on the lights. “I’ve never been unemployed before … not in 43 years. It felt great to walk in my building last night.”

Ehrlicher has owned Boomerang’s Bar in Destrehan for the past 14 years. For the past six months his establishment has been largely shuttered because of corona-virus induced mandates.

That ended Sept. 17.

Ehrlicher said under previous mandates he was able to open in March, but that only lasted 17 days. A second reopening in July last for only seven days.

Other than those 24 days he has been unable to make a living off the bar he owns.

“I’ve only had three jobs in my life and I always made money,” he said. “I’ve never been poor before.”

The first night he was allowed to reopen for the third time, Sept. 17., Ehrlicher said he invited all of his friends and family over for a drink on the house.

At the request of St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell, the parish council held a special meeting Sept. 17 to vote on a resolution to “opt-in” and allow bars in St. Charles Parish to re-open under Governor Edwards current proclamation. The proclamation states that a parish with a 5% or less COVID-19 test positivity rate can allow bars to reopen with restrictions.

The council passed the resolution.

“We know this has been a trying time for all of our businesses and hope we are able to continue to lift additional restrictions soon,” Jewell said. “As businesses with on-premise consumption begin to open, I encourage them to continue to follow CDC guidelines as well as the restrictions set forth by the governor.”

Per Edwards’ order, bars must abide by the following guidelines:

Bars are permitted to operate with table service at 25% capacity up to 50 patrons.

No walk-up bar service permitted.

Alcohol sales at all venues must end by 10 p.m. and must close by 11 p.m.

Outdoor table service is allowed.

All seating must be socially distanced.


About Monique Roth 786 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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