Aug 142014
 
Demolition workers push over a wall of the former Frank's Steakhouse on Freret Street on Wednesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Demolition workers push over a wall of the former Frank’s Steakhouse on Freret Street on Wednesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Frank’s Steakhouse — the landmark restaurant that reigned over Freret Street for decades — was unceremoniously knocked to the ground on Wednesday in a dramatic illustration of the changing times in New Orleans.

The Frank’s complex in the 4500 block of Freret was the last major undeveloped property on the corridor since a wave of new business openings began around five years ago. On July 2, Arnold Kirschman finalized his purchase of the buildings from the Barreca family who had owned them for the better part of a century, as part of a plan to demolish the steakhouse in the center of the block to rebuild a stretch of buildings matching the old cleaners on the corner of Cadiz. Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

What trait did actor/comedian Robin Williams and many of New Orleans homeless share?  Mental illness.  Like a majority of the homeless in New Orleans, Williams battled periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression until he finally “silenced the demons that relentlessly targeted him” earlier this week, as the Associate Press put it.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the rate of mental illness increases as boomers age. According to the Center for Disease Control, the suicide rate for adults -  aged 45 to 64 – increased 40% from 1999 to 2011. An analysis by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found that the suicide rate for middle- to late-middle-aged adults is higher than any other age group. Continue reading »

Aug 132014
 
Big Chief Waddie Griffin marches during the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday parade Sunday afternoon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Big Chief Waddie Griffin marches during the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday parade Sunday afternoon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The Ashé Cultural Arts Center will be holding celebrations for the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame’s 16th anniversary this weekend, including a Honors Breakfast by invitation and awards and memorial ceremony that will be free and open to the public. Continue reading »

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Aug 132014
 
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)

An architect's sketch by Albert Architecture of a condo building proposed for the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Fern Street. (via nola.gov)

An architect’s sketch of a condo building proposed for the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Fern Street. (via nola.gov)

A shuttered St. Charles Avenue fountain store that began life as a gas station decades ago should not be torn down to make room for a new condominium building, a group of city officials recommended on Tuesday. Continue reading »

Aug 132014
 

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau invites residents to enjoy all that this wonderful city has to offer through the Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown and COOLinary New Orleans campaigns. Experience your hometown through the eyes of visitors while supporting the businesses that have made New Orleans one of the most popular travel destinations in the world – and one of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Cities.

Continue reading »

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Aug 122014
 
The former day care at 1800 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard has been bought by New Orleans chef Adolfo Garcia and his partners. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former day care at 1800 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard has been bought by New Orleans chef Adolfo Garcia and his partners. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Adolfo Garcia speaks Monday before the New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments. (via nola.gov)

Adolfo Garcia speaks Monday before the New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments. (via nola.gov)

Celebrated New Orleans restaurateur Adolfo Garcia — whose High Hat Cafe and Ancora Pizzeria helped jumpstart the commercial revitalization of Freret Street — has bought a building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard for his next venture.

Demonstrating the degree to which the redevelopment of O.C. Haley Boulevard has taken off, city officials on Monday compared the Central City corridor to busy Magazine Street as they discussed the need for parking they expect in the very near future. Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 
An architect's sketch of the renovations planned for the VFW post on Lyons Street. (submitted image)

An architect’s sketch of the renovations planned for the VFW post on Lyons Street. (submitted image)

 Veterans of Foreign Wars Post logoAfter successfully rebuilding their membership over the past few years, the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in New Orleans is working towards renovating their meeting hall on Lyons Street with a pair of fundraisers this week at nearby bars. Continue reading »

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Aug 112014
 
(Cartoon by Owen Courreges)

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courreges

A ban on smoking in bars and casinos in the City of New Orleans is beginning to appear increasingly inevitable.  Although a concerted campaign to enact a statewide ban has failed repeatedly in past years, the insidious anti-smoking forces are now focusing on smaller-scale efforts.

In New Orleans, these forces have found a political surrogate in District B City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell, who plans to introduce a smoking ban this fall.

“This is not an attack, this is about healthier environments for all people: those who work in these environments, musicians, employees,” Cantrell said recently. ”But the majority of the people now within our city and even state, close to 80 percent are non-smokers.”

Cantrell attempts an artful dodge, but the truth is that this is an attack — an attack on a market choice. Continue reading »

Aug 102014
 
A still image from the video of Monday's robbery. (via NOPD)

A still image from the video of Monday’s robbery. (via NOPD)

Last week’s brazen armed robbery at a business on South Carrollton Avenue does not appear to be linked to a similar incident earlier this summer in the same strip mall, but police are urging businesses to take whatever precautions they can to keep their employees safe. Continue reading »

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Aug 092014
 

Ernest Gaskin Jr. (via opcso.org)

Ernest Gaskin Jr. (via opcso.org)

After an alleged heroin dealer whom police say was operating at one of the Irish Channel’s most notoriously violent corners was arrested last week and released from jail a day later, he is now back in jail again on a $500,000 bond following his indictment by a grand jury, documents show. Continue reading »

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Aug 082014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

While it’s very early in the competition to see who the Presidential nominees will be in 2016, we’ve been impressed by the energy and drive of U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky.

Senator Paul recently accepted an invitation to speak to an Urban League convention in Florida. Unfortunately, most of the delegates to the convention thought that inviting an arch-conservative like Senator Paul was a mistake and stayed away from the session where he spoke. Continue reading »

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