TopShelf Bar previews Rapides Parish bars possibly reopening

Rapides Parish Police Jury will vote on Friday on parish opt-in
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Police Jury will vote on if Rapides Parish will opt-in under Phase III of reopening COVID-19 guidelines on Friday, Sept. 18, at 11:30 a.m. This follows the parish’s COVID-19 cases for the past two weeks have fallen in line with Governor Edwards' Phase III requirements.

The requirements include a parish having COVID-19 cases at five percent or less rate of positivity for two consecutive weeks. If they vote to opt-in, bars will be at 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 50 people, whichever is lower. TopShelf Bar in Alexandria explained this means a return to more revenue. It also means more customers can come inside and socialize more.

Manager Margaret Smith said TopShelf will be following CDC guidelines and Phase III guidelines. The pandemic changed the social aspect of bartending for her.

“It’s been a really rough one. When you’re used to seeing people every day and communicating with people every day,” Smith said. “As a bartender, you listen to their problems you listen to what’s going on in their lives more than you talk about yourself. I miss my older people, the older ones that talk about everything from politics to their grandchildren. I miss seeing my bartenders coming in happy smiling and stuff, being stuck in here sitting in here for hours by yourself is really really hard.”

TopShelf has been open with drive-through service, but Smith said not every bar has been lucky to have that. Another challenge is TopShelf employee’s had their hours cut. According to Smith, it’s been a tough time, but they’re excited to have people come in and be served.

TopShelf is looking forward to seeing everyone come in to spend time and be served. Waiters will be masked. Customers will have to remain seated to be served, indoors and outdoors. TopShelf is open seven days a week and under Phase III guidelines, they will stop serving drinks at 11 p.m.

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