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Owner talks opening up a restaurant during COVID-19 pandemic

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Shane Smiley is fulfilling his dream of opening up a restaurant, pandemic or not.

He said he’s been working on Catahoula’s, across the water from the University of Louisiana Monroe for years. However, COVID-19 brought its own set of challenges. For instance, he said construction had to be done with smaller crews because of the pandemic.

Smiley said they’ve altered their plans for keeping customers safe as the phases of re-opening the state change. He doesn’t know what phase the state will be in come opening time, but he said they’ll be taking whatever steps they need to in order to ensure customer safety.

“We want this to be a place that people want to come and feel safe about coming to eat and have an enjoyable evening, or day or lunch, whatever it may be. But at the end of the day, our patrons’ safety is our top concern,” he said.

Smiley said they’re still a couple of weeks away from having everything in place to open up.

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