Sep 302019

Shoppers browse through comics at Crescent City Comics. The store held a party on Saturday to celebrate 10 years since its reopening after Hurricane Katrina. (Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger)

By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger

Fans assembled at Crescent City Comics in the Freret neighborhood on Saturday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the comic book store’s rebirth after Hurricane Katrina.

It wasn’t always clear that the store would make it this far. It opened in Gentilly in 1994, but when the storm hit in 2005, the shop lost much of its stock to flooding. It stayed shuttered for the next four years. Continue reading »

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Sep 162019

Renovation work in progress at the old Freret Service Center seen on Friday, Sept. 13. Plans call for turning the former gas station into a restaurant with a large outdoor seating area. (Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger)

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

After sitting unused for more than four years, the prime corner that used to be home to the Freret Service Center in the heart of the Freret corridor may be the latest addition to the area’s restaurant scene — complete with a full bar and large patio dining area. Continue reading »

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Apr 072019

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, a resident of the Freret neighborhood, performs on the Dat Dog Stage at the Freret Street Festival on April 6. (Zach Brien,

The annual Freret Street festival drew a large crowd on Saturday, April 6, packing the street from curb to curb between Napoleon Avenue and Soniat Street. Performers included Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Debauche, J & the Causeways, Little Freddie King, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers and more.

Crabs fried up with a healthy dose of butter at the Freret Street Festival. (Zach Brien,

Continue reading »

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Nov 082018

An aerial map of the Rouses site on Freret Street. (courtesy of JMR+H Architects)

By Nicholas Reimann

A proposed Rouses Supermarket on a busy stretch of Freret Street will have all the amenities shoppers would expect from their other stores, but on a much smaller scale, representatives from the project told a community meeting on Wednesday.

The planned 10,000-square-foot Rouses would go at the site of the former Bloomin’ Deals thrift store — the site of Wednesday’s meeting — with a warehouse and office space on property next door at 4617 Freret Street.

The planned overhaul of the northeastern corner of Freret and Valence streets was met with strong support from neighbors, who call the area a “food desert.”

“Are y’all firm on the 2020 opening? Can it be next week?” said Michelle Ingram, who owns nearby Zeus’ Place and lives in the area.

A rendering of the proposed Rouses grocery on Freret Street by JMR+H Architects. (via city of New Orleans)

Continue reading »

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Oct 192018
"The Candy Lady" by Ceaux

“The Candy Lady” is a 36″ x 36″ acrylic painting on canvas. Visual artist Courtney “Ceaux” Buckley presented his latest exhibit “Dear New Orleans,” to the public on Oct. 6, 2018. (Tyree C. Worthy,

New Orleans-born artist Courtney “Ceaux” Buckley presented his newest collection of paintings to the public on Saturday, October 6. The solo exhibition at Axiom Art Gallery on Freret Street was entitled “Dear New Orleans,” and featured colorful depictions of various scenes and images one can only find in the Crescent City. Continue reading »

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Aug 312018

Sponsored by Midway Pizza

Business Profile: Midway Pizza

Ben Sherman and Stephen Watson have built a culture of great staff, good food, and gracious company over the last several years at Midway Pizza on Freret Street. They are on track to open a second location in the new airport this February with the same funky-cool feeling the Uptown community loves. With a true neighborhood feel and “the best staff in the city,” the pizza joint is proud to be a staple for the Freret corridor. Co-owner Ben Sherman sat with Uptown Messenger—on his birthday of all days—to talk big about the restaurant, their great staff, and the neighbors he loves so much.

“Our goal has always been to be a part of this neighborhood. We’re almost eight years in over here,” Ben said. “So many people from every part of the neighborhood gather here, whether it be for a football game or family outing, from Tchoupitoulas to well into Broadmoor.” Continue reading »

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

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

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 »

Mar 112014
A festival-goer dances in the street in front of Dat Dog during the 2012 Freret Street Festival. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

A festival-goer dances in the street in front of Dat Dog during the 2012 Freret Street Festival. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

Crowds fill Freret Street between the vendor tents during the Freret Street Festival in 2013. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

Crowds fill Freret Street between the vendor tents during the Freret Street Festival in 2013. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

Although the Freret Street Festival is now in its 17th year, its growth in recent years has mirrored the rapid redevelopment of the commercial corridor — and this year, the April 5 event will stretch all the way to Jefferson Avenue for the first time, adding a fifth music stage to its lineup, organizers said. Continue reading »

Jan 122014
The official poster of the Freret Oyster Jam, designed by artist Michael Guidry.

The official poster of the Freret Oyster Jam, designed by artist Michael Guidry.

Sure, New Orleans already has an “official” oyster festival. But Woody Ruiz of the ubiquitous festival fish tacos thought the middle of summer was kind of an odd time to eat oysters, and he wanted a chance to give the big names downtown a run for their money on oyster preparation.

On Sunday (Jan. 19), Ruiz will get his chance, when he partners with the founders of Freret Market to create the first (hopefully annual) Freret Oyster Jam in the parking lot of the Publiq House.
Continue reading »

Oct 102013
(photo submitted by Freret Clay Center)

(photo submitted by Freret Clay Center)

Freret Clay Center, a new nonprofit promoting ceramics art and education, will hold its grand opening at 2525 Jena Street with a group exhibition from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Six artists will participate in the exhibition. For more information, see the Freret Clay Center website.

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Sep 302013

Overview map of repaving projects on Freret, Nashville and Fontainebleau. (via

Overview map of repaving projects on Freret, Nashville and Fontainebleau. (via

The ongoing repaving of Freret Street will reduce traffic to one lane and prohibit parking down the commercial corridor for most of the next month, officials said as the work begins Monday. Continue reading »

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Aug 212013
A surveyor outside the Barreca building on Freret Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for

A surveyor outside the Barreca building on Freret Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for

Jean-Paul Villere

PROLOGUE: In 2009 on Freret St at an open house I held, a septuagenarian realtor I can only imagine being more local than local sneered in my general direction as she exited, “Freret’s never coming back.”  Then being a believer myself, I felt at once insulted and repulsed, as if she’d purposely urinated on the floor and thought nothing of it.  After all, in many ways I came to feel it was her generation that had largely abandoned the city proper, swapping distinctive neighborhoods for blanched strip malls and multi-laned thoroughfares, leaving behind a devil-may-care swath of once vibrant stretches, the very core that the surrounding region’s commerce and population sprang from.  Now, in 2013, Freret crowns front pages, but without question there’s still much to be done. Continue reading »

Jul 142013

Map of upcoming repaving projects on Freret, Nashville and Fontainebleau. (via

In a matter of weeks, construction is set to begin on a new project to repave Freret Street and to try yet again to correct the installation of new “bump-out” corners at the intersections.

That project will join a series of others — a similar repaving of Broadway Street, the ongoing construction of a new drainage canal under Napoleon Avenue, the recent commencement of the same project on Jefferson Avenue, the upcoming start of another canal project on Louisiana Avenue, and the year-long repairs to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line — that place most of the major thoroughfares through the interior of Uptown New Orleans under some sort of roadwork. Continue reading »

Apr 172013

Just two weeks after the 2013 Freret Street Festival drew record-setting crowds, Dat Dog, The Other Bar and Gasa Gasa will be hosting another festival Saturday evening, “Uptown Sounds,” featuring acoustic sets, DJs and full bands. The festival runs from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and will also feature art and film, and is being organized by Loyola University’s Music Industries Studies program, according to a post at The New Freret website.

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Mar 122013

Freret Neighbors United president Andrew Amacker talks with residents in the crowded cafeteria of Samuel J. Green Charter School on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris,

Bruce Johnson tells neighbors that he feels safe enough in the Freret neighborhood without an additional fee for a security patrol. (Robert Morris,

Proponents of a new fee-based security district in the Freret neighborhood faced an hour’s worth of skeptical questions Tuesday night from residents whose opposition ranged from the specific fee itself to much broader issues about gentrification of the neighborhood.

“I don’t want to further subsidize these businesses through an increase in property taxes,” said Soniat Street resident George Chaney. Continue reading »