Mardi Gras in New Orleans won’t look the same this year thanks to coronavirus restrictions.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday, and marks the beginning of Lent for Catholics. The celebration, traditionally know for extravagant parties, music, parades and bead throwing, is said to be the “biggest” money-making weekend of the year, according to one bar owner who has had his doors shut since the beginning of February and is struggling to survive.
“People that are on their last legs, like ourselves, it's a tough blow,” Albert Bowes, the owner of Red Eye Grill, told “Fox & Friends First” on Tuesday.
Bowes said the bar already took deep revenue hits after losing out on Halloween and New Year’s Eve festivities and stands to lose thousands more this week. Mardi Gras alone provided “between $50,000 and $70,000 just in that four days” in years past, he said.
Bowes said uncertainty over when the coronavirus will end is the “hardest part.”
“Is there an endgame? Where is that? Are we getting close? Because if we're hanging on by a thread here, what more can we do? … How much more can we take of this?” he asked. “And same thing with my staff, the staff that's hanging on. Some of them are going into credit card debt, trying to stay afloat.”
Bowes added that limited PPP loan relief made its way to the bar and has put him in a "tough spot."
“PPP loans are based on places that have high payrolls,” Bowes said. “And a lot of places like ourselves don't carry high payrolls.”
Fox News' Michael Hollan contributed to this report.