Find bargains and help your community during Small Business Saturday

From a favorite restaurant for a celebratory dinner, the bookstore that always delivers on binge-worthy reads to the boutique with perfect gifts — independent, local shops and restaurants help make New Orleans unique. On Saturday (Nov. 25), StayLocal and its member businesses — independent, local shops, restaurants and seasonal markets — will celebrate Small Business Saturday in commercial corridors in neighborhoods throughout Greater New Orleans. The majority of these businesses are in Uptown neighborhoods. Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a national shopping event dedicated to celebrating and supporting local businesses.

Calliope Beer Works on Oak preparing to pour its own brews

By Jeanne D’Arcy, Uptown Messenger

There’s a new restaurant — and soon a new craft brewery — on Oak Street. Calliope Beer Works took over the space vacated by Cowbell, where Oak Street meets the river levee, in August. Calliope’s premiere brews are fermenting, and the first four craft beers are expected to be on tap the first weekend in November. Calliope Beer Works is the brainchild of brew master Richard “Rich” Szydlo, who re-located to New Orleans from Chicago. “I have been brewing beer, and before I moved here, I sold my own products but I never had my own brewery,” Szydlo said. 

That next step for Szydlo is Calliope Beer Works, at 8801 Oak Street.

Coworking is back at Propeller! (sponsored)

Coworking is BACK at Propeller! As we start the new school year, we’d like to welcome you to start a new work quarter at our newly renovated coworking facility at 4035 Washington Avenue! Our extensive renovations to our kitchen, meeting rooms, meeting room tech, event space, private offices, bathrooms, and other amenities have made this an optimal work environment for you and the pursuit of your entrepreneurial goals. At Propeller, community is key. Our diverse members consist of like-minded entrepreneurs, non-profit executives, philanthropists, and social justice activists coming together and making a major contribution to our region through one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial communities in the city.

Propeller Announces ’23 Impact Accelerator Ventures (sponsored)

Propeller announces the 20 ventures selected for our nationally recognized Impact Accelerator. This program catalyzes transformative social impact by supporting startup and growth entrepreneurs working towards community oriented solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges in community economic development, education, food, health, and water. There has always been a demand for programs like this, and the COVID pandemic and other challenges from the last several years have increased the need. Consider these statistics:
40 % of businesses do not reopen after disasters, 25% fail in the year following a disaster, and 90% of small businesses fail within 2 years of disaster. At the onset of the pandemic, Black business ownership rates dropped 41% between February and April 2020.

On Magazine Street, Restaurant Week specials plus a Block Party

The Magazine Street Merchants Association offers some ideas for beating the summer doldrums. This week is Restaurant Week along the corridor. Then on Aug. 3,  a Block Party will take place. In honor of Restaurant Week — Monday (July 17) to Sunday (July 23) — restaurants, bars, coffee shops and sweet shops along Magazine have created special menus with tempting prices, ranging from $15 to $50. The Merchants Association is sweetening the deals by offering a Restaurant Week Passport.

Viewpoint: Who would want to do business in crime-ridden New Orleans?

When I want to know what New Orleanians are thinking about the news of the day, I need not look any further than the app Nextdoor to get an unvarnished, uncensored view.   

Gina Melita posted about a carjacking at Sycamore near Carrollton. Laurel Street’s Avi Scott wrote about two teenage males who were pulling on door handles on her block. A clearly aggravated James Henderson in Algiers Riverview shared a video of his “lazy G-Man,” who picked up the trash bag on the curb but ignored the trash can. De Borah Wells in Milan posted a photo of Sir Paul, a Doberman she was mourning after his passing. Jenn C in Huntlee Village was warning neighbors about a hustler prying for information about her home security system.  

Then there’s Paulette Perrien from Maple Area who, along with several dozen others, remarked about the May 20 early-morning theft of $300,000 worth of iron beams and additional sheet metal from the former Times-Picayune site at 3800 Howard Ave., where the upscale Five O Fore driving range is under construction.

At Pasta on the Fly, build your own meal with fresh pasta and toppings

By Marielle Songy, Uptown Messenger

New Orleans native Ryan O’Connor owns Pasta on the Fly, a new Maple Street restaurant that allows diners to build their perfect pasta bowl. O’Connor was working at the Ritz-Carlton on Canal Street when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. He relocated to California, where he worked as general manager of the Michelin-starred Rustic Canyon restaurant in Santa Monica.   

At Rustic Canyon, O’Connor learned from master pasta maker Evan Funke. “He has the softest touch when it comes to pasta; he rolls out everything by hand,” he said. “That was a turning point for me.

Wonderland & Sea on Tchoupitoulas offers ‘elevated fast-casual’ meals

By Marielle Songy, Uptown Messenger

Wonderland & Sea, a restaurant that aims to be sustainable, use local products, and provide employees with a living wage, recently opened on Tchoupitoulas Street across from F&M Patio Bar. 

Wonderland & Sea is owned by Taylor Floy Hoffman, Jonathan Rhodes and chef Joel Brown. Hoffman, a New Orleans native, has previous experience in social and racial justice and museum work. Now an attorney, Rhodes has an extensive restaurant resume that includes two Chicago restaurants, NoMI and Aubriot, recognized by the James Beard Foundation. Brown is from Oregon and, upon moving to New Orleans, has worked at Three Muses, Bacchanal and Café Hope, a training program for underprivileged youth in Marrero. At Café Hope, Brown began experimenting with the restaurant’s garden, learning how to use its plentiful produce. 

“In my experience with the garden there, I got used to going out and picking what I needed for the day,” he said.