Dec 182014
 
A rendering by Studio WTA architects of the redevelopment planned for the corner of Nashville and Magazine. (via nola.gov)

A rendering by Studio WTA architects of the redevelopment planned for the corner of Nashville and Magazine. (via nola.gov)

Restaurateur Sean Josephs speaks to the City Planning Commission on Dec. 9, 2014. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

Restaurateur Sean Josephs speaks to the City Planning Commission on Dec. 9, 2014. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

The new venture at the corner of Magazine Street and Nashville Avenue planned by a husband-and-wife team of celebrated New York City restaurateurs received high marks from the City Planning Commission, sending it to the City Council with a positive recommendation. Continue reading »

Dec 162014
 
The house at 5514-16 Tchoupitoulas was one of three that Uptown Car Wash sought to demolish last week. (photographed in 2012 by Preservation Resource Center)

The house at 5514-16 Tchoupitoulas was one of three that Uptown Car Wash sought to demolish last week. (photographed in 2012 by Preservation Resource Center)

For the second time in two years, the New Orleans City Council denied a request to tear down three homes in front of a car wash on the upper end of Tchoupitoulas last week. Continue reading »

Dec 152014
 
The old Hubert building at 4401 South Broad Street. (via Google maps)

The old Hubert building at 4401 South Broad Street. (via Google maps)

Lindsey McLellan, a chef at Lola's restaurant who plans a new restaurant in Broadmoor called El Pavo Real, speaks to the New Orleans City council on Thursday, Dec. 11. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

Lindsey McLellan, a chef at Lola’s restaurant who plans a new restaurant in Broadmoor called El Pavo Real, speaks to the New Orleans City council on Thursday, Dec. 11. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

Citing the landlord’s extensive negotiations with neighbors, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell cleared the way last week for a new restaurant in a Broadmoor building with a controversial history. Continue reading »

Dec 122014
 
Cedric Martin welcomes visitors to Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street on Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Cedric Martin welcomes visitors to Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street on Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With the holiday bows on the railings, the shelves stocked and well-wishers gathered on the sidewalk Friday morning, Cedric Martin noticed one last detail amiss.

“Turn on the ‘open’ sign,” Martin laughed and then officially welcomed New Orleans back to the original Baronne Street location of Martin Wine Cellar. “It’s a very special day, and we’ve waited a long time for this. … It’s great to be home.” Continue reading »

Dec 102014
 
Halpern's Furnishing Store on St. Charles Avenue, photographed in June. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Halpern’s Furnishing Store on St. Charles Avenue, photographed in June. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The micro-distillery aspect of the proposed Lula restaurant that is slated to replace the Halpern furniture store on St. Charles Avenue easily won the approval of the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, despite some concerns from neighbors about the impact of larger development plans for the block. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Dec 042014
 
Neighbors speak with developers inside the former Blockbuster at Magazine and Louisiana, which is slated to be renovated into a CVS pharmacy. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighbors speak with developers inside the former Blockbuster at Magazine and Louisiana, which is slated to be renovated into a CVS pharmacy. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A site map of the proposed CVS at Magazine and Louisiana presented by developers on Tuesday. (design by Linfield, Hunter and Junius architects)

A site map of the proposed CVS at Magazine and Louisiana presented by developers on Tuesday. (design by Linfield, Hunter and Junius architects)

Magazine Street touts itself as “one of New Orleans’ premier shopping and entertainment districts,” so when developers presented a plan this week to convert a vacant Blockbuster Video at the edge of the Garden District into a new CVS pharmacy, they can hardly have been surprised by the lackluster reaction from residents.

“We don’t need another store to go buy gum and beer,” said Constance Street resident Mindy Decker, noting that another Walgreens is already a few blocks away and suggesting CVS consider Tchoupitoulas instead. Continue reading »

Dec 022014
 
Martin Wine Cellar is expected to reopen its Baronne Street location the second week of December. (submitted photo)

Martin Wine Cellar is expected to reopen its Baronne Street location the second week of December. (submitted photo)

MartinWineCellarNearly seven decades after Martin Wine Cellar first opened on Baronne Street in 1946, the beloved Uptown grocery and deli is finally just days away from returning to its original location with a re-opening planned for next week, just in time for the holiday season. Continue reading »

Dec 012014
 
A sinkhole stretches across Coliseum Street while orange cones mark the city's response. (Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

A sinkhole stretches across Coliseum Street while orange cones mark the city’s response. (Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

Procrastinating until something becomes absolutely critical is undeniably an American tradition.  And when it comes to procrastinating, New Orleans is always at the forefront.

There’s an example of this phenomenon just down the street and around the corner from my house.  In the 2000 block of Coliseum Street there has long been a broken water or drainage line (it’s unclear which).  It first became obvious over seven years ago when the street began to sink and the adjacent brick sidewalk began to break apart. Continue reading »

Nov 242014
 

Owen Courreges

Aldous Huxley once wrote that “a fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.”  This helps explain the bizarrely-detailed 25 page anti-smoking ordinance proposed this past Thursday by Councilwomen Latoya Cantrell and Susan Guidry.

Even I didn’t predict the staggering scope of the ordinance.  Instead of being content to simply ban most indoor smoking, already a contentious proposal, the bill seeks to ban most outdoor smoking as well and treats electronic cigarettes, which produce no smoke, the same way as traditional cigarettes.  It contains no exceptions for hookah lounges or cigar bars. Continue reading »

Nov 202014
 
Workers from Cutting Edge Renovations prepare the vacant lot at Saratoga and Foucher on Wednesday, Nov. 20, for the construction of two new houses by Pentek Homes. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers from Cutting Edge Renovations prepare the vacant lot at Saratoga and Foucher on Wednesday, Nov. 20, for the construction of two new houses by Pentek Homes. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Less than two months ago, the weeds in the vacant lot the corner of Foucher and South Saratoga Street grew as high as the shoulders of the police officers who gathered there for an anti-crime march following the second of three fatal shootings there this year.

Today, the overgrowth is gone, replaced by construction workers preparing the site for a collection of new homes that will be placed on the market early next year for approximately $2 million. The developer of the property, Bo Pennington, and the long-suffering neighbors hope for an even more dramatic transformation: that of one of Uptown New Orleans’ most violent spots into a new nexus for neighborhood revitalization. Continue reading »

Nov 182014
 
Banks McClintock and Julie Simpson plan a European-style speakeasy and wine bar at 1330 Magazine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Banks McClintock and Julie Simpson plan a European-style speakeasy and wine bar at 1330 Magazine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

An intimate, European-style “speakeasy” serving wine, cocktails and a few French hors d’oeuvres is planned for a blighted building on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District, the owners told neighbors on Monday night. Continue reading »

Nov 102014
 
An April 2014 image of the building at 8837 Willow, slated for redevelopment into the Carrollton Commissary commercial kitchen. (via Google Maps)

An April 2014 image of the building at 8837 Willow, slated for redevelopment into the Carrollton Commissary commercial kitchen. (via Google Maps)

A proposed commercial kitchen on Willow Street dubbed the “Carrollton Commissary” will return to the City Planning Commission this week, after city officials suggested two weeks ago that the business owners needed more time to discuss the project with neighbors who vocally opposed it. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Nov 042014
 

2014 Urban Heroes Gala

The Urban Conservancy, a non-profit organization in New Orleans, is having their 2014 annual Urban Heroes Gala Saturday, Nov. 15, to celebrate three visionaries recognized by The Urban Conservancy and StayLocal, a non-profit organization that is the Greater New Orleans area’s independent business alliance. The event will feature food, drink and The Laissez Boys and Camel Toe Lady Steppers. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Oct 272014
 
The old Hubert building at 4401 South Broad Street. (via Google maps)

The old Hubert building at 4401 South Broad Street. (via Google Maps)

A chef at a popular Mid-City eatery hopes to open her own Mexican restaurant in Broadmoor, but first she will need to obtain commercial zoning for a former Broad Street drug store that neighbors have long fought to keep residential. Continue reading »