LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Per Governor Edwards’ new proclamation, bars statewide took a step back today, closing their doors to the public once again after only being open for a month.
Now, many bar owners are preparing for another hit to their business. I checked back in with Bobby and Victoria Babin, the owners of Linda’s Lounge. The couple bought the bar just six months before the pandemic began in the U.S.
“It’s just kind of unfair that he (Gov. Edwards) made us close down and didn’t make the casinos move backwards like us, he didn’t make the hair salons and nail salons and nobody else move backwards but bars,” Bobby Babin said.
The Babins say they feel they were going above and beyond to operate safely. They say Linda’s Lounge has loyal regulars and a hardworking staff who have kept the bar afloat through the pandemic.
“We have a neighborhood type crowd that comes to Linda’s,” Babin said. “If it wouldn’t be for them we wouldn’t have lasted through this last reopening.”
But, the Babins say this time around they’re not so sure. If the closure lasts longer than a few weeks, the bar could be in trouble.
Jessica Cradeur, a manager at Bad Apple Saloon, agrees she knows bars are not essential business, but feels they are being singled out.
“We all agree that it’s a little ridiculous that the casino is open, but bars have to shut down when clearly there’s way more people there than what we have here,” Cradeur said.
If licensed to serve food, bars can keep some money coming in by offering curbside service. Cradeur says customers who frequent Bad Apple Saloon are also loyal, and were the first ones to call and order food this morning.
She says bars in the area able to serve food will only continue to operate if Lake Charles residents continue to show their support.
”Unless people get out and support the kitchens that are having to close their bars, t’s pretty much gonna make everyone have to close,” she said.
The Babins say they plan to do everything they can to keep Linda’s Lounge running, and they can’t wait to welcome customers back when its safe to do so.
The Bad Apple Saloon is serving food and beer to-go from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m..