The photo shows a fully packed bar without masks.
NEW ORLEANS – A photo from the Monkey Hill Bar this weekend shows a full house with a barely visible mask apparently in violation of several COVID-19 restrictions designed to stop the spread of the disease.
The photo was taken at a live music show on Saturday night and has since been circulated on social media, outraging neighbors.
“While my store is out here, limited to * FOUR MASKED CUSTOMERS at a time, my neighbor on Magazine Street, MONKEY HILL BAR, looks like this last night,” said one store owner as he shared the photo. “Please see this and know that they don’t care about you, your health, the health of your family, or our community.”
A statement from Monkey Hill’s management says the photo shows a private event that has gotten out of hand.
“Last Saturday night, the Monkey Hill Bar agreed to accommodate 40 guests for a private party. That number was well in line with our capacity and city guidelines of 25%,” the statement said. “That number quickly rose beyond what we agreed and my staff did everything in their power to defuse the extra patrons in the bar.”
The statement goes on to say that they only had a manager, bartender and bar on staff again and were overwhelmed by the crowd.
“The Monkey Hill Bar agrees with and fully supports the mayor’s policies. Since this pandemic began, they have followed CDC, city and state guidelines,” the statement said. “Saturday night was an unfortunate one and while we were failing to meet our commitment as a company operating in the city of New Orleans, we took it very seriously and are implementing stricter policies and procedures to ensure this doesn’t happen again at Monkey.” Hill Bar. “
Currently, New Orleans is in a modified Phase 1 of its COVID-19 protocol, which restricts businesses to 25% of normal capacity and gatherings only to people in immediate households.
Indoor service at bars has been closed across the community due to the state’s test positive threshold.
“That makes me mad at all the restaurants, bars and music venues that follow the rules,” said one commentator. “I hope there is a very severe punishment for everyone involved.”
A New Orleans city spokesman said they had “received multiple calls over the weekend complaining about a number of issues at the Monkey Hill Bar, including lack of face-covering or social distancing, non-compliance with occupancy requirements, and service after 11 p.m.” .
Code Enforcement posted a formal written warning on Monkey Hills door this morning and plans to work with the owners to come up with a plan to help them operate according to city guidelines, authorities said.
Tulane University on Monday reminded students of the consequences students could face if caught violating New Orleans COVID-19 restrictions.
“Since we had some problems with student behavior, I thought I would re-send a brief summary of some of the university’s expectations as a stern reminder,” the letter said.
The letter did not provide specific details on the “behavioral problems” it addressed.
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