BATON ROUGE- Restaurants are chillingly empty in the Capitol City after Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order due to the global virus outbreak.

Louie’s Cafe in Baton Rouge looks like a ghost town with chairs on top of the tables and few workers in sight.

Owner Jimmy Wetherford is doing his part to support servers who are out of a job. He came up with an idea to prepare free meals for service workers.

“It’s a gesture of hope, to hang in there,” Wetherford said.

To get the free meal, servers had to show their bar card or pay stub generated from the restaurant they work at.

“We made a big pot of jambalaya, white beans, salad, and cornbread,” Wetherford said.

“It’s not easy because I didn’t have that much money saved up,” a server picking up a free meal from Louie’s Cafe said.

The stay-at-home order seems to be a burden at local eateries, but Jimmy says to get business back up and rolling, it is something that needs to be done.

Wetherford says he plans on taking out a substantial loan to keep the business afloat. 

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