Revival plans for Dew Drop Inn move forward

The City Planning Commission was especially enthusiastic over Docket 021/21 at this week’s meeting. “I want to thank you for making me cry at a CPC meeting,” said a smiling Commissioner Sue Mobley, seconding a motion to approve the developers’ request. After a round of enthusiastic “yeas,” Commissioner Kyle Wedberg said: “I’m very excited to make this unanimous.”
This unanimous vote was not for just any conditional use to permit a hotel with live entertainment in the LaSalle Street Overlay District, with nine provisos. It was for the Dew Drop Inn. The Dew Drop, the city’s leading Black music venue for three mid-century decades, holds a hallowed position in New Orleans cultural history, in rock ’n’ roll and rhythm-and-blues history, and in the hearts of many musicians.

Lilly’s Café planning second location in the Garden District

The owner of Lilly’s Café, a popular Vietnamese restaurant in the Lower Garden District, is planning to open a second Lilly’s farther up Magazine Street. Lilly Vuong, who runs the 8-year-old restaurant with family members, told Garden District neighbors in a Neighborhood Participation Project letter that she recently purchased the cottage at 3329 Magazine St. to open a second Vietnamese restaurant. Before that can happen, she needs approval from the City Planning Commission and the City Council; a restaurant is only allowed as a conditional use in the district. A hearing is on the Planning Commission’s Jan.

Paradigm Gardens offers bumper crop of activities on Sunday mornings

The Paradigm Gardens Plant Sale, held Sunday mornings in the shadow of the Pontchartrain Expressway in Central City, offers not just pots of herbs and tomatoes but a chance to enjoy an outdoor, socially distanced brunch and concert. The brunch on Sunday (Oct. 11) included food from Coquette restaurant and the vocal stylings of Robin Barnes. Plus, goats — all in a gorgeous garden. The sale of the plants and brunch items helps finance the Paradigm Gardens School — the only K-12 garden school in Louisiana.

Man robbed at gunpoint in Leonidas

A 60-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint Sunday evening in the Leonidas neighborhood, the New Orleans Police Department reported. The victim was in the 8600 block of Cohn Street, near Leonidas Street, at about 8 p.m. when he was approached by a gunman threatening to shoot if he didn’t turn over his wallet. The victim complied. Further details were not immediately available. Anyone with information is urged to call the NOPD Second District station at 504-658-6020 to speak to a detective, or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward.

Viewpoint: America needs leadership from a ‘gumbo coalition,’ Marc Morial says

National Urban League President and former Mayor New Orleans Marc Morial was born to lead.  His parents, former Mayor Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial and educator Sybil Haydel Morial, wouldn’t have had it any other way. From his NORD playground days as a national champion Little League football star to his groundbreaking work in civil rights and economic empowerment, Morial has united voices and created meaningful change first in Louisiana and later across the globe.  

“A good gumbo depends on diversity and inclusion, the very thing companies, schools and institutions of all kinds find themselves wrestling with,” Morial said, discussing his new book “The Gumbo Coalition: 10 Leadership Lessons That Help You Inspire, Unite and Achieve.”

He believes that most leaders of large organizations are not taking full advantage of America’s “incredible diversity.”  

“America needs a national Gumbo Coalition movement right now because the ingredients for the most diverse gumbo in the world are already at our fingertips,” said Morial. “We have all the spices and flavors to create all manner of coalitions.”  

One of only 14 Black students out of 1,000 at Jesuit High School, Morial graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University before returning home to become a member of the Louisiana State Senate in 1992 and mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002. While mayor, Morial addressed corruption at the New Orleans Police Department, reduced violent crime by almost 60%, renamed and improved the Louisiana Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and accelerated economic growth. 

He also expanded the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, beefed up year-round youth programming, increased home ownership, initiated the return of the historic Canal and Rampart streetcars, strengthened ties to Latin America and the Caribbean, and brought NBA basketball back of New Orleans.  During his final year as mayor, Morial served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He was selected to lead the National Urban League in 2003. 

Morial coined the phrase “Gumbo Coalition” after a campaign supporter prepared gumbo for a party being hosted in his honor.

Man shot to death in Lower Garden District

A man was shot to death in the Lower Garden District on Sunday afternoon, the New Orleans Police Department reported. At 1:43 p.m, NOPD Sixth District officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 600 block of Felicity Street. They found a man, later identified as Johnathan Davis, suffering from gunshot wounds. Medical responders attempted life-saving measures; however, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Davis was 22.