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 »

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

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

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

Crowds fill Freret Street between the vendor tents during the Freret Street Festival in 2013. (UptownMessenger.com 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 »

Sep 302013
 

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

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

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 UptownMessenger.com)

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

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 pavinglaroads.com)

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, UptownMessenger.com)

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

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 »

Mar 122013
 

The Freret Neighbors United will hold an extended meeting tonight (Tuesday, March 12) to discuss a proposed new security district in the neighborhood, and the Milan Focus Group will meet Wednesday to hear from city and police officials. Continue reading »

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Mar 112013
 

As progress moves forward on stabilizing both the Willow Street elementary campus and the Fortier campus for upper grades on Freret Street, Lusher Charter School officials are also deliberating on what, if any, changes will be made for the 100 students who remain at the satellite campus at the Jewish Community Center on St. Charles Avenue. Continue reading »

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Mar 112013
 

The former Dunbar’s restaurant at 4927 Freret is slated to become “The Muse on Freret,” a second location for owners of Three Muses on Frenchmen. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Shuttered since the floodwaters that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the former Dunbar’s building on Freret Street in Uptown New Orleans may soon be a popular restaurant once again, as the owners of Three Muses on Frenchmen Street said Monday morning that they plan to renovate the site for a second location. Continue reading »

Mar 022013
 

The Freret Market will bring its eclectic assortment of food stands and local art and clothing vendors to the corner of Napoleon Avenue from noon to 5 p.m. today (Saturday, March 2), along with free performances by Mardi Gras Indian blues band Chawa, Miss Claudia Baumgarten’s Singalong Americana and New Orleans rock band Coot.

Feb 162013
 

Charcoal at Jackson and Magazine, photographed in November. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-awaited Charcoal’s Gourmet Burger Bar on Magazine Street and the new Wayfare deli on Freret have both opened, and the original Reginelli’s location at Magazine and State is now slated to become a restaurant called Noodle & Pie. Continue reading »

Jan 282013
 

Freret resident Andy Brott, hydrologist W. Scott Lincoln and meteorologist Tim Erickson inspect a rain gauge on top of Brott’s house in mid January. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

For many New Orleanians, Hurricane Isaac will be remembered for the long week without power and the maddening uncertainty as to when it would return.

But for a group of National Weather Service researchers, Isaac has proven interesting for what did not happen — street flooding — despite their discovery of what appears to have been a band of abnormally heavy rainfall right across Uptown New Orleans.

“Our biggest question is, ‘Where did the water go?’” said emergency-response meteorologist Tim Erickson during a recent trip to Freret Street to investigate. Continue reading »

Jan 222013
 

This building in the 4500 block (photographed in October) will become the home of Wayfare restaurant. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Marta Jewson)

The Wayfare sandwich shop on Freret Street hopes to open Feb. 1; Martinique Bistro is launching an Italian pop-up on Mondays; and Cafe Luna on Magazine Street recently changed hands, according to recent reports. Continue reading »

Jan 152013
 

Neil Hamburger (via Twitter)

Nationally-known comic Neil Hamburger will headline the New Orleans Comedy Arts Festival with two performances this week at La Nuit Comedy Theatre on Freret Street, according to the website. The festival features different shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. each night from Wednesday (Jan. 16) to Friday (Jan. 18), and other headliners include Nick Vatterott from Comedy Central, Ashley Barnhill and DJ Douggpound, according to the festival website.

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