The photo shows a crowded bar with no masks in sight.
NEW ORLEANS – A photo from Monkey Hill Bar this weekend shows a packed house with barely a mask in sight, in apparent violation of several COVID-19 restrictions designed to stop the spread of the disease.
The photo was taken during a live music show on Saturday night and has been circulating on social media ever since, sparking outrage from neighbors.
“While my shop is here limiting visitors to * FOUR HIDDEN CUSTOMERS AT A TIME, my neighbor from Magazine Street MONKEY HILL BAR looks like this last night,” a business owner said 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 management says the photo shows a private event that got out of hand.
“Last Saturday evening, the Monkey Hill Bar agreed to host 40 guests for a private party, that number was well within our capacity and the city’s guidelines of 25% capacity,” the statement said. “This number quickly exceeded what we had agreed to and my staff did everything in their power to alleviate the extra guests coming inside the bar.”
The statement went on to say that they only had a manager, bartender and bar on staff and were overwhelmed by the crowds.
“Monkey Hill Bar agrees and fully supports the mayor’s policies and has followed CDC and city and state guidelines since the onset of this pandemic,” the statement said. “Saturday night was a miserable one and while we do not fail in our obligation as a company operating in the city of New Orleans, we have taken it very seriously and are putting in place stricter policies and procedures to ensure that doesn’t happen again at Monkey. Hill Bar. “
Currently, New Orleans is in a modified phase of its COVID-19 protocols, limiting businesses to 25% of their normal capacity and limiting gatherings to only people from immediate households.
Room service in bars has been closed across the parish due to the state’s threshold for positive testing.
“It makes me angry with all the restaurants, bars and concert halls that play by the rules,” one commentator said. “I hope there will be a very harsh punishment for everyone involved.”
A spokesperson for the city of New Orleans said he received “multiple calls over the weekend complaining of a series of issues at the Monkey Hill bar, including lack of face coverings or social distancing,” failure to meet occupancy requirements and service after 11 p.m. “
The code enforcement issued a formal written warning at the Monkey Hill gate this morning and plans to work with homeowners to create a plan to help them meet city guidelines, officials said.
Tulane University sent a reminder to students on Monday outlining the consequences students could face if they violate New Orleans’ COVID-19 restrictions.
“As we encountered some student conduct issues, I thought I would return a brief summary of some of the college’s expectations as a stern reminder,” the letter said.
The letter did not give specific details of the “conduct issues” it was addressing.