Governor John Bel Edwards order to close bars because of the coronavirus pandemic has meant a lot of Louisiana business owners have had to change their business plans on the fly. While some bar owners took the legal route and attempted to get the courts to allow them to reopen, others chose a different route.

That route, if we can't open as a bar, then we'll open as a restaurant. Restaurants do not have to follow the same COVID-19 restrictions as bars. The Louisiana Restaurant Association says about 200 former bars have used expedited measures to qualify as restaurants during the pandemic closure mandated by the Governor.

The Louisiana Department of Health is helping to expedite those bar owners who want to make the transition too. If perhaps you feel that transitioning your bar to a restaurant is a better option for your business all you'll need to do is visit the Alcohol, Tobacco, Control website for the proper application.

Each bar will be given a set amount of time to establish their new operating normal which would have to include more than 50% of their sales coming from food. They will also have to ban smoking if they happen to be located in a part of the state where smoking in bars is still permitted.

There are other restrictions that have to be met in order for a bar to be classified as a restaurant and truthfully not all of those businesses will be able to make the transition with ease. In fact, some of them won't be able to make the transition at all. Let's just hope that COVID-19 restrictions can end soon enough for these business operators to get back on their feet and continue to provide for their families and themselves.