Nov 152017

The exterior of the St. Vincent’s Guest House on Magazine Street. (via Google Maps)

The proposed renovation of St. Vincent’s Guest House in the Lower Garden District into a boutique hotel with a new reception hall received the approval of the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, but developers were denied permission to charge admission for events or extend operating hours there as they had requested. Continue reading »

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Nov 142017

Gina Scala Perret of Beachcorner Bar & Grill

For three generations, Gina Scala Perret’s family has owned the Beachcorner Bar & Grill. They’ve had thousands of locals and tourists wander in to play darts, watch games, and drink their favorite beers and cocktails. We tapped Gina for an interview about her experience running a bar in the Big Easy.

Name: Gina Scala Perret
Store: Beachcorner Bar & Grill
Since: 1940s

Read their full Shopkeeper Story on

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Nov 132017

The Liege Waffle from Cloud 9 Bistro, now open on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel. (via

Cloud 9 Bistro is in the building at 3138 Magazine between Harmony and Ninth Streets. (image via

A new brunch spot specializing in Belgian waffles called “Cloud 9 Bistro” has opened on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel, its owner said. Continue reading »

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Nov 072017

Daym Patterson (left) visits Freret Street Po-Boy and Donuts in 2013 in a segment for The Travel Channel. (via

Freret Street Po-Boy and Donut Shop — heralded when it opened in late 2009 as a sign of the corridor’s post-Katrina rebirth — has closed its doors as it struggles to keep up with the continued evolution of the neighborhood. Continue reading »

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Nov 022017

The exterior of the St. Vincent’s Guest House on Magazine Street. (via Google Maps)

Despite its popularity with neighborhood activists and preservationists, the proposed renovation of St. Vincent’s Guest House in the Lower Garden District and addition of a new reception facility has been postponed until mid-November amid nearby neighbors’ concerns about the new project’s operations. Continue reading »

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Oct 312017

A rendering of the Chipotle proposed for 2801 Magazine Street. (via city of New Orleans)

Despite concerns from Garden District and Irish Channel neighborhood activists about a proliferation of national fast-food restaurants on Magazine Street, Chipotle has won tentative approval from city planners for its first location in New Orleans as it heads to City Council for a final decision. Continue reading »

Oct 272017

The former Zara’s property at 2042 Prytania Street, following extensive renovations. (photographed in April 2017 by Google Maps)

The New Orleans City Council voted Thursday to begin the process of tightening the laws allowing short-term rentals in commercial property as a result of the long-running dispute over the fate of the former Zara’s grocery on Prytania Street — centered not on the business itself, but on the AirBnB apartments above it.

“I am offering this motion in response to what has been an outpouring of concern about the ease of acquiring a commercial short-term rental license,” said City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell on Thursday. “I believe [the City Planning Commission] should look into this matter, and this is the first step toward that.” Continue reading »

Oct 272017

Chef Alon Shaya’s signature Lamb shank with Pomegranate seeds. (photo by Kristine Froeba for

Renowned chef Alon Shaya has distanced himself from the Besh Restaurant Group by launching a new hospitality group, formed only two days after Shaya’s ouster from his namesake restaurant.

Rosh Hashanah 2017 began at sundown on September 20, the first day of the Jewish New Year. It was also the date of the founding of Pomegranate Hospitality, chef Alon Shaya’s new company. The pomegranate is a long time symbol of the Jewish celebration and a symbol of fruitfulness, perhaps in this instance, also new beginnings. Continue reading »

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Oct 262017

Barkley Rafferty has launched the Royal Merchant Trading Company from her Uptown home. (photo by Danae Columbus for

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Armed with her Tulane MBA and a love of cooking, 31-year old Barkley Rafferty recently launched an online and direct mail spice business, Royal Merchant Trading Company, which is supplying customers with amazingly fresh, high quality, hard-to-source spices from around the world.

“I started developing this product two years ago out of my frustration,” said Raffferty. “I love to cook. At New Orleans grocery stores I can find great produce, local seafood, and fresh bread. But I could never find the exact spices I was looking for,” Rafferty continued. Continue reading »

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Oct 242017

Zach Foster of Blue Dot Donuts

Before you even open a box of a dozen donuts from Blue Dot Donuts, you can smell the sweet, warm pastries calling.

When you finally crack the top open, you can see the intense colors of assorted donuts freshly baked and frosted—these are not your average donuts. Like jelly in a donut, New Orleans culture is injected right into the heart of Blue Dot Donuts.

Name: Zach Foster
Store: Blue Dot Donuts
Since: Founded in 2011

What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
Well technically, the business had already started when I bought it. I was the head baker six months after the store opened in 2011. Then, this last March, the owners decided to retire and gave me first dibs on buying the business, and I took them up on it.

Read the full story on here.

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Oct 172017

Kristen Essig (left), Michael Stoltzfus and Beverly House discuss the planned transformation of the former Shamrock Tavern into the Thalia restaurant on Monday night at a meeting of the Coliseum Square Association. (Robert Morris,

The co-owners of the beloved Coquette restaurant on Magazine Street received a warm reception Monday night as they introduced their idea for a new restaurant, “Thalia,” to their neighbors in the Lower Garden District. Continue reading »

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Oct 092017

A rendering of the Chipotle proposed for 2801 Magazine Street. (via city of New Orleans)

The Chipotle restaurant planned for the Garden District that has stirred questions about the proliferation of chain restaurants on Magazine Street is scheduled to be discussed by the City Planning Commission on Tuesday. Continue reading »

Oct 052017

Deutsches Haus returns to New Orleans with its annual Oktoberfest at their new location—1700 Moss Street, along Bayou St. John in Mid-City. The festival runs for three weekends, beginning with a Mid-City Biz fundraiser from 4 to 11 p.m. this Friday, October 6.

Oktoberfest runs for three weekends, October 6 – 7, October 13 – 14, and October 20 – 21, with Friday hours 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturday hours 1 to 11 p.m. This will be Deutsches Haus’ first Oktoberfest in the City of New Orleans since 2010. Continue reading »

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