Baton Rouge restaurants, bars dealing with spike in COVID-19 cases 

Recent news of a spike in COVID-19 cases among LSU students has created a stir among Baton Rouge bars and restaurants. The wave of cases led several Tigerland bars, such as Fred’s, JL’s Place and Reggie’s, to close temporarily for sanitization and to put in place safety measures such as temperature checks.

Other restaurants, such as the Overpass Merchant, The Chimes and Mid City Beer Garden, also closed temporarily last week as a precautionary measure and to provide testing for staff—many of whom are often college age.

Fortunately, most of those closures lasted only a few days and the businesses reopened this past weekend with some modifications to continue following phase two guidelines.

But in what might be an ongoing trend as the country continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, some restaurants and bars reopened this week while other ones decided to close.

Beausoleil Restaurant and Bar announced on Saturday that it would close immediately with plans to reopen in August. “The challenges of the past three months have taken a toll on all of us,” the Jefferson Highway restaurant said in a Facebook post. “The recent rise in cases in our area, while we attempt to operate at a limited capacity, is presenting new challenges daily. … With time to rest, re-charge, and prepare, we hope to re-open in August with new energy and adjustments for this “new normal.”

Beausoleil is the third of four eateries in the Juban Restaurant Group to temporarily close, joining Christina’s and Adrian’s. The group’s flagship restaurant, Juban’s, is still operating—though owners are pessimistic about what the future holds, Daily Report reported Monday. 

Today, Elsie’s Plate & Pie announced it would close temporarily because one of its staff members tested positive. “We will take a three-day break to have our staff tested and sanitize the building,” the Government Street restaurant said in a Facebook post. “Thanks for bearing with us during these challenging times. We look forward to serving up all of your favorite plates and pies as soon as we can safely do so for you and our staff!”

Similarly, Bistro Byronz closed its Willow Grove location on Monday, saying it’s also having staff tested following a “recent exposure.”  

This story first ran in 225 magazine. To keep up with Baton Rouge food and events subscribe to  the free 225 Dine e-newsletter. 

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