Apr 212015
 
An image promoting the "Grand Opening of Latin Fridays" from the "Cafe Ra" Instagram stream, which advertises events at 1379 Annunciation Street. (via instagram.com/ra_nola)

An image promoting the “Grand Opening of Latin Fridays” from the “Cafe Ra” Instagram stream, which advertises events at 1379 Annunciation Street. (via instagram.com/ra_nola)

New Orleans police and city and state alcohol officials ordered a halt to nightclub activity operating in a former firehouse on Annunciation Street earlier this month, saying that “Club Ra” was issued a live entertainment permit in error but that its activities bore little resemblance to the restaurant its zoning allows. Continue reading »

Apr 102015
 
Chef Antonino "Nino" Bongiorno and his son, Giuseppe, behind the counter at Cafe Nino. The restaurant will close May 31. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Chef Antonino “Nino” Bongiorno and his son, Giuseppe, behind the counter at Cafe Nino. The restaurant will close May 31. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After 18 years in an assuming little building on South Carrollton Avenue, chef “Nino” Bongiorno plans to close his doors there for the final time at the end of next month.

“Everyone knows me, and everyone cries,” Bongiorno said of word about his plans to close getting out. But fans of Nino’s chicken marsala and red wine still have reason to dry their eyes — Bongiorno said that after a short break, he plans to currently seek a new location in the Warehouse District or possibly Freret Street. Continue reading »

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Apr 012015
 
A rendering by Garrity Accardo architects of the redevelopment along Freret near Cadiz. (via nola.gov)

A rendering by Garrity Accardo architects of the redevelopment along Freret near Cadiz. (via nola.gov)

Workers have added a new wall enclosing the former laundry on the old Frank's Steak House site on Freret Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers have added a new wall enclosing the former laundry on the old Frank’s Steak House site on Freret Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The new owners of the former Frank’s Steakhouse have revealed some details of the tenants they have lined up for their redevelopment on Freret Street — including a yogurt shop, a wine bar, a juice bar and professional offices — as nearby residents begin discussing the impact of the new apartments planned for the site. Continue reading »

Mar 272015
 
A rendering of the new CVS pharmacy slated for the corner of Louisiana and Magazine. (courtesy of Avery Koontes / Sherman Strategies)

A rendering of the remodeled CVS pharmacy slated for the corner of Louisiana and Magazine. (image by Genesis Design Group, courtesy of Avery Cootes / Sherman Strategies)

The New Orleans City Council gave enthusiastic approval to a plan to remodel the former Blockbuster Video building at the edge of the Garden District into a CVS pharmacy, but several members said the city should be looking for a way to restrict the growing density of chain stores on Magazine Street. Continue reading »

Mar 232015
 
The former Le Roux banquet hall at 1700 Louisiana Avenue, photographed in January 2015. (photos courtesy of Nina English).

The former Le Roux banquet hall at 1700 Louisiana Avenue, photographed in January 2015. (photos courtesy of Nina English).

The former Le Roux banquet hall on Louisiana Avenue that was damaged by fire last year has been approved for demolition, and the owner is considering replacing it with a new condo development. Continue reading »

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Mar 182015
 

The new development proposed for Magazine Street between Richard and Felicity streets. (rendering by Studio WTA, courtesy of Wayne Troyer)

The new development proposed for Magazine Street between Richard and Felicity streets. (rendering by Studio WTA, courtesy of Wayne Troyer)

A large, long-vacant lot on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District is now planned to become home to a new development with ground-floor commercial space and apartments above, the New Orleans-based developer told neighbors this week. Continue reading »

Mar 172015
 
A rendering of the new glass-and-steel facade of the Garden District Grocery slated for the former location of Zara's at 2042 Prytania. (by Lee Ledbetter, courtesy of the architect)

A rendering of the new glass-and-steel facade of the Garden District Grocery slated for the former location of Zara’s at 2042 Prytania. (by Lee Ledbetter, courtesy of the architect)

After its sale last year, the former Zara’s location on Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District will be dramatically renovated into a new, full-service Garden District Grocery, the property owners told neighbors on Monday. Continue reading »

Mar 162015
 

Owen Courreges

Note: The author has once again suffered a mental break and lapsed into his s“Bland Landers: Advice Columnist” persona. The following is the grisly outcome.

Dear Bland,

I am a developer pitching plans for the old World Trade Center building. My proposal includes a plan for a some twisty-gondola things that go up to an observation deck, and then come back down. Remember those gondolas at the World’s Fair back in ’84? Well, it’s like those only instead of taking you across the river, it just takes you up and then back down again (kind of like an elevator, but without the utility). I guess my question is, what in the World Trade Center is wrong with me? Continue reading »

Mar 092015
 
The former Rachel Sims Baptist Mission on Second Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Rachel Sims Baptist Mission on Second Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A century-old Baptist mission center in the Irish Channel that closed in 2010 is slated to become 10 condominiums in a redevelopment that is drawing praise from historic preservationists and neighborhood leaders but less enthusiasm from city planners. Continue reading »

Mar 042015
 
Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

The tireless subject of back taxes and property auctions in the New Orleans metro area has once again garnered much buzz in the last week.  True, it is an exciting topic for the Crescent City citizenry at large as we wade through the thankfully diminishing blight, too often witnessing the demise of structure too far gone not to be demolished.  That’s the downside for sure.  The upside?  Seemingly countless blocks are given new looks from fresh eyes.  That said, understanding the what and the how of these processes should demand the lion’s share of your attention if you fancy yourself the real-estate investor type, because well, this ain’t eBay.  Continue reading »

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Mar 032015
 
A revised rendering of the CVS proposed for Magazine and Louisiana included in documents provided to the city. (design by Linfield, Hunter and Junius architects)

A revised rendering of the CVS proposed for Magazine and Louisiana included in documents provided to the city. (design by Linfield, Hunter and Junius architects)

City officials have given initial approval to a proposal to turn the shuttered Blockbuster Video and adjoining restaurants into a CVS pharmacy at the corner of the Garden District on Magazine street. Continue reading »

Feb 272015
 
Saveur restaurant on Magazine Street (via Facebook)

Saveur restaurant on Magazine Street (via Facebook)

Kin, a Vietnamese restaurant, will be opening on 4600 Washington Avenue in upcoming weeks; the Southern cuisine Boucherie has reopened on 1506 South Carrolton Avenue, while Danny’s No. 2 on Magazine has closed, and Baie Rouge has changed its name to Saveur Cuisine & Cocktails, according to recent reports. Continue reading »

Feb 112015
 
The Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue, photographed in January 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

The Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue, photographed in January 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

With plans for a rooftop lounge and a restored Silver Whistle coffee shop on the first floor, The Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue is intent on reclaiming its historic prominence in New Orleans, its owners say — right down to the classic blueberry muffins. Continue reading »

Jan 312015
 
Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks at the grand opening ceremony at Martin Wine Cellar on Friday, Jan. 30. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks at the grand opening ceremony at Martin Wine Cellar on Friday, Jan. 30. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Before Mayor Mitch Landrieu took the podium for Friday’s grand opening ceremony at Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street, he had a very important question to ask.

“You’ve already got your lemonade?” Landrieu asked a patron in the crowd, noting her tall glass. He took the microphone, and continued, “I’m happy. You know how many times I came here when I was a kid to get a sandwich, how many Lindys I’ve eaten?” Continue reading »

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Jan 272015
 
The Magnolia Mansion at 2127 Prytania Street. (via Google Maps)

The Magnolia Mansion at 2127 Prytania Street. (via Google Maps)

A proposal to add a restaurant at the Magnolia Mansion hotel on Prytania Street drew such vehement opposition from Garden District-area neighbors on Tuesday afternoon that the City Planning Commission overruled their own staffers to recommend against the project. Continue reading »

Jan 232015
 
At left, a rendering of the exterior of the new restaurant slated for Magazine and Nashville. At right, the Halpern's building slated to become the Lula restaurant and microdistillery. Both projects won City Council approval on Thursday. (UptownMessenger.com)

At left, a rendering of the exterior of the new restaurant slated for Magazine and Nashville. At right, the Halpern’s building slated to become the Lula restaurant and microdistillery. Both projects won City Council approval on Thursday. (UptownMessenger.com)

Two high-concept restaurants planned for Uptown New Orleans — the Lula micro-distillery slated for the Halpern’s building on St. Charles Avenue, and a project on Magazine Street by the owners of Maysville in New York City — both won easy approval from the New Orleans City Council on Thursday afternoon. Continue reading »

Jan 232015
 

Sidney Williams (via opcso.org)

Sidney Williams (via opcso.org)

Reginald Wilson (via opcso.org)

Reginald Wilson (via opcso.org)

Two men arrested arrested this week separately account for 15 armed robberies at local businesses over the last month — including one man who appears to have primarily targeted eight Subway restaurants around the city, and another who hit an array of seven businesses along the South Claiborne-South Carrollton corridors, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »