UPDATE: LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Blue Dog Cafe has announced that it is closing after 20 years of business, but owners hope it is temporary.
In its statement of Facebook, the restaurant said the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced restaurants to shut down and later return at low capacity, was too much for the business.
“We would like to express our deepest appreciation for our staff and patron who have been with us for over the past 20 years,” the restaurant said.
The sign at the Blue Dog Café shows what was suppose to be a week-long closure (June 28-July 6) turned indefinite or at least until every precaution of the coronavirus is behind us.
The popular restaurant for decades no longer houses the food or the art it was known for.
Customers poured out their support on Facebook after hearing the news, that the Acadiana community is losing another legacy restaurant to the virus.
According to the general manager on-site when the restaurant was emptied, staff became concerned when outbreaks hit other restaurants in the community and some who had other jobs stopped coming to work.
In addition, business in many Lafayette restaurants has been slow. Indoor dining was initially closed by Governor John Bel Edwards in mid-March, only to reopen with 25% capacity in May and 50% capacity in early June.
A survey by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority released in June showed out of 782 residents 35% felt “not at all” safe dining out.
While the Blue Dog Café was known for its food, it was also known for its art by the late great George Rodrigue. His son’s restructured the company under chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018.
At the time co-owner and son Jacques Rodrigue said, “From the beginning, we have sought only to make sure that our father’s legacy, which includes Blue Dog Café, is honored with excellence.”
News 10 attempted to reach out to Jacques Rodrigue the night of the closure, but the response received no response.
This is not the first restaurant closure in Acadiana during the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’s Seafood downtown closed months ago, and Landry’s Seafood House in Saint Martin Parish closed in early May.
Blue Dog Café was open for 20 years,
The owners say they are exploring how they could best reopen when the restaurant market has stabilized. The priceless art will be stored in a warehouse for now.