Apr 182014
 

By Elizabeth Elliott, Davida Finger and Melissa Gallo

While the City has many responsible landlords, all too often in our practice at the Loyola Community Justice Clinic, our clients face landlords who refuse to repair substandard housing, wrongfully withhold deposits at the end of leases, try to illegally evict in order to rent to Mardi Gras tourists and other offenses that take advantage of the landlord-friendly laws. Louisiana has lagged far behind other states in protecting renters, and Senate Bill 298 is an attempt to find the correct balance between landlord and tenant rights and interests. Continue reading »

Apr 162014
 
Newly delivered construction equipment sits at the site of the Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Newly delivered construction equipment sits at the site of the Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Cedric Martin has been a somewhat regular attendee of Delachaise Neighborhood Association meetings over the last year, but when he walked into the room Tuesday night — as the first signs of construction begin to show at the Baronne Street site where he is rebuilding the original Martin Wine Cellar — he was met with applause and cheering.

“Thank you,” Martin said quietly as he sat down, to which one member replied: “Thank you for starting construction.” Continue reading »

Apr 102014
 

The building at 1020 Erato is slated to become the home of The Courtyard Brewery. (submitted photo)

The building at 1020 Erato is slated to become the home of The Courtyard Brewery. (submitted photo)

After months through the city’s regulatory systems, it took only a few very short minutes before the New Orleans City Council for the Courtyard Brewery to win final approval for their Lower Garden District taproom. Continue reading »

Apr 102014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

The City’s announcement last week that after months of meetings, negotiations were still ongoing with Gatehouse Capital should prompt the New Orleans Building Corporation to re-open the bid process and invite new proposers.

This is especially true with several new Council and NOBC members coming on board in a few weeks and the change of NOBC leadership when Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant moves on to the Sewerage & Water Board.  With the multi-million dollar high-end outlet mall by the Howard Hughes Corporation set to open at the Riverwalk next month, the WTC development project would attract new bidders – possibly including the Hughes group. Hughes’ portfolio is very diverse and the WTC could be a good fit for them, especially if they do not choose to build condos or a hotel on top of the Riverwalk in a second phase. Continue reading »

Apr 092014
 
Cedric Martin (left) and David Y. Martin Jr. stand by the former Baronne Street location of Martin Wine Cellar in the mid 1980s. (submitted photo)

Cedric Martin (left) and David Y. Martin Jr. stand by the former Baronne Street location of Martin Wine Cellar in the mid 1980s. (submitted photo)

MartinWineCellarAfter nine years closed since Hurricane Katrina, Martin Wine Cellar’s Baronne Street location will start construction next week and be open “in late 2014,” the company announced Wednesday morning. Continue reading »

Apr 072014
 
The Roly Poly location on Tchoupitoulas. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Roly Poly location on Tchoupitoulas. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City officials approved a developer’s request Monday to tear down the Roly Poly building on Tchoupitoulas, to the dismay of the restaurant’s current employees, but the new bank intended for the site is still lacks permission to tear down an adjacent house. Continue reading »

Apr 032014
 

the big issueThe entrepreneurship boom in New Orleans is a real phenomenon, and a crucial factor in the city’s continued rebirth — but it must also be accompanied by more economic opportunities for the unsustainable number of jobless African-American men in the city, a panel of business leaders said Thursday evening.

“We can get there,” said Rod Miller, CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “We are a ‘new’ New Orleans, but we’re not our best New Orleans.” Continue reading »

Apr 032014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We have been watching with much interest the national and Louisiana debate regarding increasing the minimum wage to $10.10. The latest polls show that support is growing across the nation, although only seven states and the District of Columbia have raised starting pay.

According to today’s New York Times, Louisiana is one of five states – the others being Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee – that currently does not have a minimum wage. Washington State has the highest wage ($9.32) currently with D.C. to move to $11.50 in 2016. While both those rates might be too high for Louisiana’s economy, something must be done to give our lowest paid citizens a better opportunity to succeed in life. Continue reading »

Apr 032014
 

John Michel of Mr. Mudbug boils crawfish at Crawfest 2011 at Tulane University. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

John Michel of Mr. Mudbug boils crawfish at Crawfest 2011 at Tulane University. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

The Freret Street Festival. Fete Francaise. Crawfest. The Celtic Fest. The Mini Maker Faire. Bach around the Clock. Professional wrestling?

There’s so much happening this weekend around Uptown New Orleans, you may wish you had an interactive map to plan your attack. And, if so, Uptown Messenger has you covered. Continue reading »

Mar 312014
 

the big issueHas post-Katrina rebuilding really created a new city out of New Orleans, or is the “boom” more of an artificial economic bubble that is bound to burst? This question will drive the next installment of Tulane Hillel’s occasional series of “The Big Issue” discussions, set for Thursday evening with the title “New Orleans 2.0: Fact or Fiction?” Continue reading »

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Mar 292014
 

Raising Cane’s now plans a total of three Uptown locations; a new ice-cream shop is opening on Freret Street; a new building on Magazine Street will host a location of the upscale Brick & Spoon chain; and Pizza Domenica is on track for an April opening, according to recent reports. Continue reading »

Mar 282014
 
The former Uptowner banquet hall at 438 Henry Clay Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Uptowner banquet hall at 438 Henry Clay Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A sign at the Uptowner alerting neighbors of a proposed prisoner re-entry program. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A sign at the Uptowner alerting neighbors of a proposed prisoner re-entry program. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

For years, chef Greg Sonnier fought to reopen his old Mid-City restaurant Gabrielle in a banquet hall on Henry Clay Avenue known as the Uptowner, but neighbors eventually convinced the New Orleans City Council to keep the building zoned residential, and Sonnier moved on to become executive chef at the new French Quarter restaurant Kingfish.

Now, Sonnier says he has a plan for The Uptowner that will suit both him and the building’s residential zoning: The Orleans Parish Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative. Local and state corrections officials, however, say they are not involved in or aware of the project. Continue reading »

Mar 272014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

In the last 50 years, there have been many Directors of Aviation at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport but few about whom there was any urgency to retain them. But the current Director of Aviation, Iftikhar Ahmad, is one of the hottest guys in the nation in his field of work and the New Orleans Aviation Board is giving him a $35,000 a year raise that he didn’t ask for because they want to keep him here.

Restaurateur Ti Martin, a member of the Aviation Board, says, “He has come to have a lot of affection for New Orleans and the region and we need to lock him to finish what he has started.” Continue reading »

Mar 172014
 
Plans for a new Regions Bank to replace the Roly Poly and an adjacent house on Tchoupitoulas by architect Richard Whitston of Kentucky. (via New Orleans City Council)

Plans for a new Regions Bank to replace the Roly Poly and an adjacent house on Tchoupitoulas by architect Richard Whitston of Kentucky. (via New Orleans City Council)

The Roly Poly location on Tchoupitoulas. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Roly Poly location on Tchoupitoulas. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Roly Poly restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street is slated be torn down and replaced with a new Regions Bank at the corner of Jefferson Avenue, according to a demolition request pending before the city. Continue reading »

Mar 172014
 
Architect's rendering of the LaSalle school on Perrier redeveloped into condominiums (via lasallenola.com)

Architect’s rendering of the LaSalle school on Perrier redeveloped into condominiums (via lasallenola.com)

All 12 condominium units in the former LaSalle School building on Perrier street have sold out at prices up to $3 million before the development even opens, showing the strength of the market for luxury homes in Uptown New Orleans, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. “The average home price in New Orleans increased by 15% this January compared to a year ago,” the report notes, and in 2012, fully 8 percent of the city’s population had been here less than a year.

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Mar 162014
 

The Lower Garden District watering hole Bridge Lounge will become the “Barrel Proof” bar next month under new ownership, the new Carrollton Market restaurant in the Riverbend is slated to open this week, and the Popeyes on Magazine and Artz Bagels have both closed unexpectedly, in recent dining news. Continue reading »

Mar 132014
 
An image of the suspect in an armed robbery at American Apparel last week on Magazine Street. (via NOPD)

An image of the suspect in an armed robbery at American Apparel last week on Magazine Street. (via NOPD)

An image of a robbery suspect from the Denver Police Department. (via NOPD)

An image of a robbery suspect from the Denver Police Department. (via NOPD)

A man who robbed the American Apparel on Magazine Street last week bears a striking resemblance to the suspect in robberies at two of the companies other stores in San Francisco and Denver, New Orleans police say, and may have robbed a Walmart in Kenner afterward. Continue reading »

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Mar 122014
 
Lindsay Hellwig, a co-owner of the Courtyard Brewery, speaks to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday afternoon.

Lindsay Hellwig, a co-owner of the Courtyard Brewery, speaks to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday afternoon. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

courtyard brewery logoAfter fielding detailed questions about parking, floor plans, dumpsters, gates, curb cuts, trees, sidewalks and deliveries on Tuesday, the owners of the Courtyard Brewery received approval for a new “nanobrewery” in the Lower Garden District from the City Planning Commission, with the outdoor seating allowed that the name implies.

The commission did not give the Courtyard Brewery permission for live music, however, so they hope to make the case for that when their request heads to the City Council in the next month. Continue reading »