Suspects sought in two early morning business burglaries (video)

The New Orleans Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating suspects in two business burglaries that occurred on early on Tuesday (Oct. 4). Police did not indicate that the burglaries were related. At 2:19 a.m., a man rode up on a bicycle to a business in the 4500 block of Freret Street. After prying open the front door, he walked up to the cash register and tried to open it.

City Council to vote on expanding area covered by parking overlay

City Council will vote Thursday (Oct. 6) on an interim zoning district that would temporarily expand the area subject to the University Area Off-Street Parking Overlay restrictions. The proposed interim zoning district would include the Carrollton, Marlyville-Fontainebleau, Broadmoor and Uptown neighborhoods in the restrictions aimed at curbing “doubles to dorms” developments. These private student housing developments are rented by the bedroom. 

The University Area Off-Street Parking Overlay, passed in October 2021, addresses the residential density from D2Ds by requiring a permeable off-street parking spot for each bedroom added to a property. It applies to new construction and renovations with more than five bedrooms in residential buildings without a homestead exemption. 

The interim zoning district and overlay were both created to address the lack of Uptown parking because of the greater residential density from D2D development.

Developers plan to turn Our Lady of Lourdes into a reception hall

Plans are in the works to turn the long-dormant Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon Avenue into a reception hall and event venue. The project is in the early stages of development — so early that the developer named in a letter informing neighbors about the plans, Arts Design Hospitality + Development, is not registered with the state. “The LLC has not been formulated yet,” said Zach Smith, a land-use consultant working with the developers. “But eventually we have two individuals who will comprise that group.”

David Fusilier, a contractor with Perle Construction, and Doug Cloninger, director of Amicus Investment Holdings, plan to purchase and renovate the century-old building, listed at $1.25 million. The church anchors the uptown-lake corner of the square block bounded by Napoleon, La Salle, Jena and Freret.

Avenue Pub purchased by local barbecue and bar veterans

The Avenue Pub has new owners. Blue Oak BBQ founders Ronnie Evans and Philip Moseley have teamed up with the owners of the Frenchmen Street bar The Rambler, Steve Jeffcoat and Ryan Noland, to purchase the Pub in early September. The longtime St. Charles Avenue spot for beer, bourbon and bites is currently closed for renovations and will reopen sometime this month. Former owner Polly Watts helped her father, Duane Watts, open the divey 24-hour beer hangout in 1987.

Man arrested after 4-year-old boy shoots himself

A 25-year-old man was taken into custody after a toddler shot himself on Sunday (Oct. 2). Police found the 4-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound around 4 p.m. at the intersection of South Claiborne Avenue and Gen. Taylor Street. Lindell Mays was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center for responsibilities of owners of firearms with respect to minors. The police did not reveal Mays’ relationship with the 4-year-old.

Roadwork ahead: South Carrollton closure between Fig and Earhart postponed (updated)

From The Mayor’s Office
Editor’s note: The city announced on Oct. 3 that the closure has been postponed until further notice. 
South Carrollton Avenue will close to traffic between Fig Street and Earhart Boulevard beginning Monday (Oct. 3) at 7 a.m. and lasting through 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. The city’s Department of Public Works contractor Wallace C. Drennan, Inc. will install new water lines and drainage as part of the Marlyville-Fontainebleau Group C infrastructure improvement project.

73-year-old driver shot to death on Pontchartrain Expressway

A 73-year-old man was killed Friday evening (Sept. 30) in a drive-by shooting on the Pontchartrain Expressway, the New Orleans Police Department reported. In response to reports of gunfire, NOPD Sixth District officers arrived at about 8 p.m. to Interstate 10 East near the Norman C. Francis Parkway overpass. They found a vehicle on the shoulder with visible bullet damage. The man in the driver’s seat, later identified as William Manns, had multiple gunshot wounds.

Vals’ Cuban American chef is serving up a Latin brunch

The mid-century modern café on the Freret restaurant corridor looks like it would be more at home in Palm Springs. But Vals’ retro California vibe extends further than the décor. What’s drawing attention now is its weekend brunch. The Latin-inspired menu pays homage to the deeper roots of chef Alfredo Nogueira. Self-taught in the culinary arts, Nogueira points to his childhood family table as inspiration.