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Hustler Club New Orleans Joins Vaccination Effort With Shot-for-Shot Event

With fall festivals on the line, NOLA bars, restaurants, and now, strip clubs, are joining the city’s vaccination effort

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Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club is the latest New Orleans business to add a booze-related incentive to getting vaccinated, following the lead of bars like Dragon’s Den, the Howlin’ Wolf, and Kermit Ruffins’s Mother-in-Law Lounge. The French Quarter strip club will host a “shot-for-shot” event next Friday, May 7, providing those who step up to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine with a free post-vaccination drink.

In food-related incentives, Together New Orleans is hosting a vaccination event (with live music of course) this Friday, April 30th from 4 to 7 p.m. wherein the first 100 people vaccinated will receive a free fried fish dinner and the first 200 people vaccinated will receive a Smoothie King gift card. The event, held at St. Maria Goretti Church, is part of the community coalitions’s effort to show that “Deep, respectful, door-to-door canvassing, in tandem with local vaccination events, can help move the needle on vaccine outreach and vaccine equity,” said Kahlida Lloyd of Together New Orleans.

Also this weekend, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival in Chalmette is offering free first-dose Pfizer shots to attendees during designated times April 30 - May 2. The festival was canceled last year due to COVID but will this year allow up to 12,800 attendees per day at the Frederick Sigur Civic Center in St. Bernard Parish, neighbor to New Orleans, where there are no limits on outdoor events.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has made it clear that for the city to fully open up, its vaccination rate must improve. She has particularly called out the hospitality industry, urging hotel and restaurant owners to better track how many employees are getting vaccinated. The key to getting “back to business,” she has said, is to “make sure that the 89,000 people in our community that make up our hospitality industry get vaccinated.”

Yesterday, during a press conference announcing an end to indoor capacity limits, Mayor Cantrell implied that the city’s major festivals that have been rescheduled for the fall, like French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest, may not happen without reaching herd immunity levels of vaccination (which the city has previously identified as 75 percent). Officials are waiting to grant permits for the festivals currently scheduled, she said, but did not identify a threshold for festivals to be permitted to move forward. Eater has reached out to a city spokesman for further clarification on the comments and will update this post if we hear back.

About 43 percent of eligible New Orleans residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, city officials said Thursday.

“We want to see this city where we’ve operated for years open back up quickly and safely,” the Hustler Club’s general manager Ann Kesler told NOLA.com about joining the effort. The Hustler Club’s shot-for-shot vaccination event is May 7 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at 225 Bourbon Street.

Eater is tracking the impact of the COVID-19 on the city’s restaurant industry. Have a story to share? Reach out at nola@eater.com.

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