Michael Boudreaux will wait until Friday to make a decision on whether to keep Juban's Creole Restaurant open in July.

With three of the four restaurants in the Juban's Restaurant Group — Beausoleil, Christina's Restaurant and Adrian's — temporarily closed, Boudreaux said he wants to see if Gov. John Bel Edwards changes the state's reopening status before making a decision.

Adrian's and Beausoleil remained open during the state's lockdown, when restaurants were limited only top takeout and delivery services. Juban's reopened during Phase I, as did Christina's, when the state allowed 25% capacity in restaurant dining rooms.    

The group temporarily closed Adrian's in early June, when Phase II transitioned dining rooms from 25% to 50% capacity. Adrian's takeout business was good, but Boudreaux cited its limited staff as one of the reasons for his decision for the temporary closure.

And though Christina's business with the downtown office crowd was brisk, there wasn't enough staff to maintain the operation, he said.

The lack of staff continues to be a problem because unemployment benefits for laid off or furloughed workers are more lucrative, Boudreaux said.

The federal government in April added $600 per week in supplemental funds to Louisiana’s maximum unemployment payment of $247 per week to laid-off workers or those with significantly reduced hours.

The benefits are scheduled to run out on July 31, so Boudreaux is aiming to reopen all three of the restaurants Aug. 1.

"It only makes sense to close for the next three weeks," Boudreaux said. "July is traditionally the slowest month for business for restaurants, and I have to be honest, the next week is going to stink."

Last week's decision to close Beausoleil was based on the spike in the state's coronavirus cases.

"The number of cases went up because of the increase of COVID cases with the bars reopening," Boudreaux said. "But this is temporary, too."

Boudreaux said the closures would also give his staff a chance to take some vacation time.

"We can all take a vacation, clear our heads and come back Aug. 1 ready to work," he said. "I'll talk to my CPA to see where we stand. The goal is to lose the least amount of money possible. The target reopening date is Aug. 1, and we'll see how things are at that time. We're going to have to let the market decide what we're going to do."


Email Robin Miller at romiller@theadvocate.com