Tipitina’s expansion moves forward with City Council approval

It’s been a tough slog for the city’s live-music industry since the pandemic hit, but one classic Uptown venue is looking to the future with plans to expand. Tipitina’s music club received approval from the City Council on Thursday to open a new club next door. The new venue will be a café and restaurant by day and a bar with live music at night. “With Covid and all that has been shut down, this is an exciting thing to watch, that Tipitina’s is actually expanding,” said District B Councilman Jay H. Banks. “Anything we can do to let our culture bearers, the backbone of our economy, to have more opportunities to work, is a good thing.”

NOLAxNOLA brings live local music to Uptown venues

A citywide event known as NOLAxNOLA (in a nod to SXSW music and film festivals in Austin, Texas) opens Thursday (Oct. 7). To help fill in the void created by the cancellation of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, it is presenting 251 concerts — maybe more, check this link — around town during the 10 days that would have been filled with Jazz Fest and performances galore in clubs and other venues. Of the more than two dozen local venues, five are located Uptown. Gasa Gasa, the Maple Leaf, NOLA Brewery, Rock ‘n’ Bowl and Tipitina’s will hold a combined 29 shows over the 10 days.

Tipitina’s to open coffee shop and bar with live music next door on Tchoupitoulas

Legendary local music venue Tipitina’s plans to expand by opening up a coffee shop next door that will also serve as a bar and live entertainment venue at night. 

The City Planning Commission approved the plans in a unanimous vote on Tuesday (July 27), with the provision that all music must be indoors with windows and doors closed. The coffee shop will be on 4331 Tchoupitoulas St., in a building previously used as a commercial short-term rental space known as Tchoup House. The venue has a rear patio and upstairs deck. 

In comparison to the bopping music club next door, the new entertainment venue will be low-key, focusing more on piano and acoustic performances. 

“The live music that we are envisioning would be akin to a piano bar: small scale, a piano man, or perhaps a jazz or funk trio,” according to a project description the club submitted. “An intimate vibe, nowhere on the level of size or production that the artists who play inside Tipitina’s require.” This expansion represents a hopeful new chapter for Tipitina’s, which like all music venues has struggled mightily to survive the pandemic.

‘A Century on Harmony Street’ to honor the Kohlmaier cabinet makers in the Irish Channel

Furniture maker Ruppert Kohlmaier Jr. was just 6 years old when he started working in his father’s shop on Harmony Street in the Irish Channel. Almost 80 years later, he still works there every single day. His long career has been blessed, he said, by having a legion of New Orleanians as clients, whom he considers to be his extended family. Select pieces from his clients’ collections will be on view at the Louisiana State Museum’s Cabildo beginning Nov. 4 in the exhibition “A Century on Harmony Street: The Kohlmaier Cabinet Makers of New Orleans.” Curated by gallery owner Cybèle Gontar, the retrospective honors both father and son Kohlmaier and will be accompanied by a catalog.

‘Think You’re Funny’ picks up the mic again at Carrollton Station

The open-mic show that boasts that of being “New Orleans’ (once) longest running uninterrupted weekly comedy event” has returned to the stage after its long interruption. Back from the pandemic, “Think You’re Funny” at Carrollton Station. encourages comedians, both experienced and new, to take to the stage and work out their material in front of a live audience. Cassidy and Mickey Henehan co-host the weekly show. Mickey Henehan said that the local open-mic has wandered from bar to bar over the course of many years. As he explained, the show has previously found a weekly home at spots such as True Brew, Lucy’s and Keystone’s, but has been settled at Carrollton Station since 2008.

‘Doors into Daydreams’ art exhibition brings bold color to Magazine Street (sponsored)

Uptown just got more colorful. Mason Dupré, a Louisiana native by way of St. Charles Parish and a current Uptown dweller, is excited to bring his work to historic Magazine St. The colorful new art exhibition, “Doors into Daydreams,” is currently being featured at 3701 Magazine Street until June 20th. The inspirational collection focuses on mental health, while bringing a vivid experience of life through the use of bright acrylics on large-scale, delicate glass panes.

Uptown writer Michael Tisserand to release ‘My Father When Young’ in time for Father’s Day

A wedding procession in Orleans, France. Young women puffing cigars in Evansville, Indiana. A costumed reveler crossing the street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. These photos, and many more, were captured by Jerry Tisserand between 1955 and 1959. His collection of images is now the subject of the book, “My Father When Young” by his son, Uptown resident and award-winning author Michael Tisserand.

YAYA Arts Center to host Back in Bloom on Friday

YAYA Arts Center in Central City is hosting Back in Bloom, a spring showcase with art demos, live music from Jack Sledge and the Hammers, and an art market by YAYA artists. The free celebration of spring will be held Friday (May 21) from 6 to 8 pm. at the YAYA Arts Center, 3322 LaSalle St. Participants can also watch glass art demos and take part in the Goblet Grab, which involves buying a handmade glass that can be filled, free of charge, throughout the evening. YAYA, for Young Aspirations Young Artists, was founded in 1988 as a creative partnership between New Orleans artist Jana Napoli and art students from International High School of New Orleans as an after-school enrichment program.

Neutral Ground Coffee House keeps on truckin’ — with a little help from its loyal friends

Even a fire, hurricanes, financial collapses and a pandemic cannot keep the Neutral Ground Coffee House from being there for its devoted regulars. 

Last summer, as the coronavirus raged, it was saved once again when two new owners, James Naylor and Phant (a.k.a Caroline) Williams, stepped in and purchased the venerable Uptown coffee house. “We are a community, some of whom have been here since 1977,” Naylor said. “Really, it’s like family – very inclusive and multigenerational too.” 

The bohemian enclave goes back to 1974, when a graduate student named Greta Lee opened the Penny Post on Maple Street. It featured not only coffee, tea and pastries but live music, chess and backgammon, and lively conversation. By the time it closed after a fire in 1977, it had a loyal following.

Amanda Shaw concert at CR Coffee Shop on Tuesday, May 4 (sponsored)

Fresh coffee and live music — sign me up. Live music and artisan coffee and teas are the perfect mix to bring a new burst of energy to Uptown. Magazine Street is coming back in full force this spring, thanks to CR Coffee Shop and special guest Amanda Shaw. This festive event will be an opportunity for the community to donate to The Amanda Shaw Foundation while supporting their local cafe. 

CR Coffee Shop is pleased to announce that we will be hosting Amanda Shaw on our patio from 8 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4, for GiveNOLA Day! This nonprofit focused event was created by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, an institution dedicated to driving positive impact through philanthropy, leadership and action in the Greater New Orleans Region.