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.

Find authentic Mexican fare at Loya’s in Gert Town

Don’t be fooled by the outside of Loya’s Mexican Restaurant. It’s located in a small industrial-looking building on a strip right off Earhart Boulevard. But inside, the menu is packed with authentic Mexican food made from family recipes. Loya’s owners Perla Sanchez Loya and Maria “Coco” del Socorro Loya are from Mexico City and flavor every meal they serve with their traditions and culture. 

The Loyas are mostly self-taught cooks. Maria honed her skills in restaurants in Mexico City.

New York investors buy the Whole Foods building on Magazine

A New York investment group has purchased Arabella Station, the home of Whole Foods Market on Magazine Street, for $31.4 million, property records show. Whole Foods has a long-term lease on the former bus barn and is expected to remain. The property that takes up the entire block at 5600 Magazine St. was purchased by DK WFNO, a limited liability company operated by Debra Kalimian. Kalimian runs D&R Holding and A&R Kalimian Realty out of offices in Manhattan, records show.

Lucy Boone Ice Cream pop-up to settle down in Milan area

Lucy Boone Ice Cream has been charming New Orleanians with its ice cream pop-up since 2020. Now, Lucy Boone is set to open their brick-and-mortar in the renovated Fine Arts Theater on Baronne Street at Constantinople. 

Lucy Boone is the chill creation of Abby Boone and her husband, Aaron Schnell, who named the business is named after their daughter Lucy. They serve handcrafted concoctions such as Cold Brew, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Key Lime Pie and Salted Butter Caramel. Abby said that she enjoys making ice cream flavors that remind her of her childhood, and she hopes that the flavors resonate with customers and offer a bit of nostalgia in the form of a tasty dessert. Abby grew up in Iowa and attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she specialized in pastries.

Second Line Arts Collective: Music Education from Recess to Record Deals (sponsored)

In 2016, professional musicians Darrian Douglas and Gregory Agid were perplexed. New Orleans is a world renowned music city- Why were so many local musicians struggling to make ends meet? They soon discovered that many artists were lacking business skills and too often were depending on playing endless gigs to pay the bills. 88% of musicians they surveyed had zero music business exposure throughout high school or college. They decided to change the narrative by founding Second Line Arts Collective, a music education nonprofit for aspiring artists to grow their industry skills and knowledge base.

Not just a little red truck, Petite Rouge is also a little red cafe

Petite Rouge got its start as a little red coffee truck that’s now familiar at events and festivals. But it’s not just a nomad in a vintage Citroen van. Since 2018, Petite Rouge Café has also been serving the Uptown and college crowd at 3146 Calhoun St. Owner Julie Anne Pieri started the business with her partner Kurt Schmiederer. She was an art major at the University of New Orleans and has taught children art, taught English in Japan, and worked in the service industry.

Fund 17, Propeller and Thrive announce the Financial Wellness Collaborative for small business owners (sponsored)

Fund 17, Propeller and Thrive New Orleans announce the creation of the Financial Wellness Collaborative, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. This free program is designed to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners bolster their overall financial health through a series of workshops and one-on-one individualized support in areas such as assembling loan packages and financial statements, Quickbooks accounting, business tax filings, and raising credit scores. This collaboration among the three entrepreneurial support organizations represents a holistic approach for preparing more BIPOC entrepreneurs to access capital. Together with JPMorgan Chase and our local Community Development Financial Institution lenders, the collaborative targets specific needs and opportunities to prepare small businesses to approach lenders and access capital. By leveraging each organization’s respective work in supporting small businesses across New Orleans, the collaborative is able to create a synergistic offering.

Garden District Book Shop owners open bistro in The Rink

The Chicory House is a new Garden District café, replacing Still Perkin’ as The Rink’s resident coffee shop — and more. Two owners of the Garden District Book Shop in The Rink at Prytania and Washington, Carroll Gelderman and Barkley Rafferty, own The Chicory House as well. They took ownership of the bookstore in early 2021 when the founding owner, Britton Trice, retired after 40 years. Garden District Book Shop has made a name for itself as the quintessential neighborhood book shop, offering friendly personal service and hosting book events and signings. Gelderman and Rafferty have put their own touches on the shop, including converting a storage space into a children’s book room. 

When Gelderman and Rafferty took over the book shop, they also acquired Still Perkin’, which had long served a variety of select brews and other coffeehouse fare to Garden District residents and visitors. 

It was always Gelderman and Rafferty’s intention to retire Still Perkin’ and open a new place with a bistro concept and a stronger connection to the bookstore.

This new bar offers a view of the park from historic hotel

The Park View Historic Hotel on St. Charles Avenue overlooking Audubon Park now has a bar. The Gilded Perch opened two months ago and serves new and classic cocktails in a glamorous space. The Park View dates back to 1884, when it was built to welcome guests of the World International and Cotton Exposition at Audubon Park. The building was purchased and fully restored by Liz and Terry Creel in 2008.

Propeller announces 2022 Impact Accelerator Ventures (sponsored)

Propeller announces the 19 participants selected for its nationally recognized 2022 Impact Accelerator. This program catalyzes transformative social impact by supporting startup and growth entrepreneurs working to narrow disparities in community economic development, education, food, health and water. Our entrepreneurial community has endured disasters and challenges over the past several years. Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after disasters, another 25% fail in the year following a disaster, and 90% of small businesses fail within two years of disaster. At the onset of the pandemic, Black business ownership rates dropped 41% between February and April 2020.