Sep 012015
 

Emily Palit

Emily Palit

New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” ― Mark Twain

America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” ― Tennessee Williams

In my neighborhood a fast food chain restaurant, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito, rented a space without a liquor license. Within four months, they requested a permit to sell alcohol. A frequent reaction has been: “What’s the problem? I like a margarita or a beer with my Mexican food.” Continue reading »

Aug 112015
 
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)

One of the first announced tenants of the new development replacing the former Frank’s Steakhouse on Freret Street will be Bar Frances, a wine bar planned by the owner of classic French Quarter restaurant Tujague’s and more recently the Garden District wine shop Bin 428. Continue reading »

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Jul 282015
 
Attendees of the Maple Street Dishcrawl in July 2014 sample the fare at Little Tokyo, a Japanese restaurant in a space occupied by a college bar just a few years ago. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Zach Brien)

Attendees of the Maple Street Dishcrawl in July 2014 sample the fare at Little Tokyo, a Japanese restaurant in a space occupied by a college bar just a few years ago. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Zach Brien)

Whether you call it a “crackdown” or a “cleanup,” there is no doubt that Maple Street has changed dramatically over the last five years amid intense scrutiny by New Orleans city officials.

Now, a debate over whether the City Council should continue to have oversight over whether new restaurants on Maple Street are allowed to sell alcohol has split the neighborhood association and local businesses, with residents on both sides.

Is the City Council’s traditional role as a gatekeeper for alcohol sales at restaurants a crucial element of the new peace on Maple Street, or does it give neighborhoods and their elected officials too much influence over which businesses can open? Continue reading »

Jul 242015
 
A rendering of the proposed Jackson Oaks development on display Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A rendering of the proposed Jackson Oaks development on display Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-shuttered, grafitti-covered former Sara Mayo hospital on Jackson Avenue is slated for redevelopment into a 211-unit, eight-story apartment complex with ground-floor restaurants and offices, neighbors learned Friday morning.

The vacant former Sara Mayo hospital, seen from Josephine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The vacant former Sara Mayo hospital, seen from Josephine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jul 232015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Scrappy New Orleans entrepreneur Kishore “Mike” Motwani’s $8.175 million purchase this week of Oz, New Orleans premiere gay dance club, this week is another sign that this often-despised self-made millionaire puts his money where his mouth is. Much to the dismay of ardent preservationists, Motwani is living the American Dream by remaking downtown New Orleans in his own image. Continue reading »

Jul 202015
 
The beginnings of the house at 4621 Chestnut Street (via City of New Orleans)

The beginnings of the house at 4621 Chestnut Street (via City of New Orleans)

The city's property maps show the narrow lot at 4621 Chestnut Street. (via City of New Orleans)

The city’s property maps show the narrow lot at 4621 Chestnut Street. (via City of New Orleans)

A 12-foot-wide house planned for Chestnut Street was recently granted approval to continue construction despite the objection of a number of nearby neighbors. Continue reading »

Jul 172015
 
A house under construction by architect Jonathan Tate and developer Charles Rutledge on a tiny lot on St. Thomas Street. (photo by Sarah Tan for UptownMessenger.com)

A house under construction by architect Jonathan Tate and developer Charles Rutledge on a tiny lot on St. Thomas Street. (photo by Sarah Tan for UptownMessenger.com)

Article by Sarah Tan for UptownMessenger.com

The city of New Orleans shows the comparatively tiny size of the 880-square-foot lot on St. Thomas Street. (via nola.gov)

The city of New Orleans shows the comparatively tiny size of the 880-square-foot lot on St. Thomas Street. (via nola.gov)

Throughout the city of New Orleans, more than 5,000 irregularly-shaped empty lots of land have traditionally been seen as too tiny to be built upon, so they just sit. One architecture firm and developer team, however, have been looking to make use of these lots by turning them into small, but affordable housing stock.

“The lot on St. Thomas ‘wasn’t worthy of a house’ is what the neighbors said,” architect Jonathan Tate said. Continue reading »

Jul 142015
 
(via StayLocal!)

(via StayLocal)

StayLocal, Greater New Orleans’ Independent Business Alliance, hosts NOLA Know-How, a Business-to-Business (B2B) resource fair culminating with TED-style presentations by five local business owners speaking on the theme of “What I Made with Lemons.” The event is this Thursday, July 16, at Eiffel Society (2040 St. Charles Ave) from 5pm to 8pm. Doors open at 5pm for networking and browsing at the resource fair; the talks will begin promptly at 6pm. Continue reading »

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Jul 122015
 
The Freret Garden Center is now for lease, after its longtime owners decided to sell the property and move the business to Broadmoor. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Freret Garden Center is now for lease, after its longtime owners decided to sell the property and move the business to Broadmoor. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Freret Service Center closed in early June. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Freret Service Center closed in early June. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nearly six years ago, James Carville famously told Anderson Cooper on Hurricane Katrina’s fourth anniversary that “A little bit of a sense I have is how Freret Street goes, how goes New Orleans.”

At the time, Carville was speaking to all the optimistic signs of the city’s recovery — the reopening of storefronts that had long been shuttered, the return of longtime residents and the arrival of new ones. His words, however, remain just as poignant today — when Freret Street has become such prized real estate that some neighborhood and startup business owners have closed their doors, while new, deeper-pocketed investors line up to take their places. Continue reading »

Jun 232015
 
Izzo's Illegal Burrito on Magazine Street (April 2015 photograph by Google Maps)

Izzo’s Illegal Burrito on Magazine Street (April 2015 photograph by Google Maps)

The request by Izzo’s Illegal Burrito to sell beer and margaritas at their Magazine Street location split the City Planning Commission on Tuesday — even with tight restrictions on the operations there — so the New Orleans City Council will have to decide whether a restaurant considered “fast food” should be compatible with alcohol sales. Continue reading »

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Jun 082015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

There’s no getting around it: Central City is an impoverished neighborhood.

In 2013, Karen Gadbois and Craig Mulcahy summed up the situation in Central City nicely: “[Y]ou’re still within sight of the Superdome, but have no doubt about it: The tracks may be nonexistent, but you’re on the wrong side of them.”

With Central City’s depressed economic state, one would think that public officials and the nonprofit community would focus on promoting businesses that provide goods and services that serve a lower-income demographic. However, the opposite has been the case. Continue reading »

Jun 052015
 
Residential structures from the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital along Henry Clay Avenue will be torn down as part of the Children's Hospital expansion. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Residential structures from the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital along Henry Clay Avenue were approved for demolition as part of the Children’s Hospital expansion. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Children’s Hospital won permission Thursday to tear down six buildings on the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital campus along Henry Clay Avenue, but has agreed to participate beforehand in a federal process to determine whether their loss can be minimized or mitigated. Continue reading »

Jun 032015
 
An artist's rendition of the expansion of Children's Hospital onto the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site. (image by Eskew + Dumez + Ripple architects, courtesy of Children's Hospital)

An artist’s rendition of the expansion of Children’s Hospital onto the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site. (image by Eskew + Dumez + Ripple architects, courtesy of Children’s Hospital)

Children’s Hospital faces two key hearings before city officials this week as it prepares to tear down a cluster of dilapidated structures at the edge of the former site of the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital in anticipation of building a new parking garage and clinic space there, and shared more details about the development plans with neighbors on Tuesday night. Continue reading »

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Jun 012015
 
The former fountain store at 7901 St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former fountain store at 7901 St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A nearly 80-year-old building on St. Charles Avenue that was once a gas station, bagel shop and more recently a fountain store is slated to be torn down and replaced with a new house, less than a year after neighbors successfully protested plans for a condo development there. Continue reading »