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Saints fans, restaurants get small sense of normalcy during Monday Night Football

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BATON ROUGE - Plenty of Saints fans enjoyed Monday Night Football with family or friends at restaurants all over Baton Rouge.

Restaurants, bars, and grills alike were moderately busy but not completely packed because of COVID-19 restrictions as the Saints took on the Raiders. It was a small sense of normalcy for both customers and businesses.

“Football is a pretty integral part of Louisiana life so it’s nice to have that back,” Mid City Beer Garden bar manager Christian Grimaldo said.

The Who Dat National is bound to follow the Saints whenever and wherever the team shows up on the small screen. On Monday, that included Saints fan Jerry Reid and his group of friends.

“I mean, I'm just ready to have a good time. It’s my buddy’s birthday right here. I figured, Monday Night Football, gonna watch the Saints beat the Raiders at the 'rumba dome.' It’s gonna be freaking awesome,” Reid, a restaurant patron, said.

This year with limited to no seating at sports venues due to COVID-19, places like Mid City Beer Garden are hoping these watch party-type events will give them a much-needed boost in business.

“This is usually the busiest season of the year with LSU and the Saints both going. We’re happy to get back to, like you said, a little bit of normalcy and a little bit of good times,” Grimaldo said.

With Louisiana now in Phase 3 of reopening, restaurants and bars with full kitchens and permits are allowed to have 75 percent seating capacity, but with coronavirus restrictions still in place.

“We’re just trying to keep up and do the right thing and keep people safe,” Grimaldo said.

It may not look or feel exactly normal, but this is as close as it’s been to that in the past six months. And for some, like Reid, that’s good enough.

“It’s made my life feel a lot more normal. Even though I don’t see the fans, it really doesn’t bother me because as long as I can see the plays. And the hits and the fake sounds that are pumped into the game, I'm totally cool man,” Reid said.

Businesses say that Monday night was a good test run for this weekend as they prepare for the first LSU game of the season.


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