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Downtown restaurants seeing increase of customers in recent months

Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 8:09 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With ease in restrictions, some downtown restaurants are seeing an increase of customers.

Buffi’s Peauxboys, at their previous Ryan Street location, was one of many businesses last year trying to figure out how to operate.

“From last year to today, has been a trusting process,” said owner, Paige Vidrine. “It’s been difficult, but so rewarding, right, because now you have the war wounds, now you have the battle scars, and you can say like, ‘Here we are. We’re not going anywhere.’”

Just two weeks removed from their downtown reopening, she says it’s a startling difference.

“We’ve seen hundreds of people a day, and to see downtown bustling again, and to be part of that, to really be part of like wow, downtown has life, Lake Charles has life, it feels like an honor.”

Botsky’s general manager Marty France says they’re also seeing some of that downtown traffic return.

“After the hurricanes, we picked up business a lot, because we were one of the only places available, especially downtown,” France said. “In the recent months, lunch and both dinner time periods have picked up steadily and more foot traffic and more people ordering out too.”

He says they’ve gotten busy.

“It’s been good to see more and more people getting out. We still like to see people taking safety precautions as well, but it’s good to see the city getting back to where it was over a year ago.”

He explains, in comparison to a year ago, they’ve even crossed where they were before the pandemic.

“Now, it’s higher. The average customer base is higher than it was a year ago, and sometimes we would get really busy days, but now it’s starting to be every day is getting a busy day.”

Vidrine says they’ve seen more than double the amount of customers they had this time last year, and France says Botsky’s is even seeing financial increases.

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