Viewpoint: Magazine Street businesses prepare to reopen amid new protocols

Resilient Magazine Street merchants like Juliet Hainkel Holton and Desiree Petitbon are making final preparations for reopening their two shuttered shops on Saturday (May 15). The co-owners of the trendy boutiques Basics Underneath and Basics Swim & Gym, 5513-15 Magazine St., Holton and Petitbon were inspired to tiptoe into retail 21 years ago after a fateful trip to France. They realized a customer base existed Uptown for properly fitted foundation garments that are popular during the Mardi Gras season as well as for weddings and other special events throughout the year. What began as a fun little sideline blossomed into their main job. Through hard work and dedication, the two single moms steadily built a successful business that brought in more than $1 million annually until COVID-19.

New Orleans-based company offers customer logging technology for local businesses

As the City of New Orleans moves into phase one of reopening, customer logging has been a suggested safety precaution, especially for high-traffic locales. IDScan.net, a local developer of identity verification and information gathering technologies, is now offering New Orleans companies a touchless solution for automatically logging customers. “Our solution helps businesses across industries protect their customers and their staff,” said Denis Petrov, CEO of IDScan.net, in a statement. “Our solution, which logs customers and gets them through the door as fast as possible, is particularly useful where there is high traffic.”

IDScan.net’s visitor management platform scans government-issued IDs and instantly pulls the individual’s name, address, and date of birth. It then creates a record for the individual in a database, along with the time and date of the visit.

The Commissary offers free food as the Dickie Brennan & Co. venue nears opening

 

A steady trickle of cars flowed past a renovated garage on Orange Street on Friday (April 24) as The Commissary chefs, staff and family passed out free meals of barbecue shrimp and grits with smothered okra through the car windows to an extended family of hospitality workers and musicians. Lower Garden District neighbors walking and bicycling past were also offered the free meals that included ice cream po-boys from New Orleans Ice Cream Co. The restaurant group Dickie Brennan & Co. has developed the 7,000-square-foot project, which includes 6,000 square feet of commercial kitchen. The original plans were to prepare food for the group’s five restaurants – Palace Café, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Tableau and Acorn — to streamline operations and boost consistency for signature dishes.

How are Magazine Street businesses doing? Part 2: Restaurants, bars, coffee shops

For Part 2 of this two-part series on Magazine Street, Uptown Messenger takes a snapshot of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (Part 1 focused on local shops and galleries.)

Along Magazine Street, a gastronome can sample French, Indian, Vietnamese, Cajun, Creole, Chinese and homegrown flavors in myriad restaurants that dot the six-mile stretch. Bars, an important part of New Orleans social life and culture, can be temples of cocktail culture or beloved neighborhood hangouts. Coffee shops offer places to relax, visit, study or work and have their own individual vibes. Along with the mix of retail stores, these businesses have made Magazine Street a popular destination for tourists and locals.

Yo Joe! New Orleans real estate trends, advice for STR owners

I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor and Real Estate Broker. For my Yo Joe! column, I’ll be answering your real estate questions and providing market information special to New Orleans. New Orleans has seen an explosion in short-term rentals in recent years. In fact, an estimated 8,500 units were in operation until restrictions were passed in 2019.

We'll Be Right Back: New Orleans Hospitality

‘We’ll Be Right Back’: Pizza D owner shares thinking process for closing restaurant

“How are we having to make this choice between our employees’ livelihoods and their health?” Michael Friedman of Pizza Delicious asked as his management team made plans for the current health crisis. “How do we run a business at this time where there’s so many unknowns, where the health risk is so unknown, and make this happen so that our employees can continue to have jobs?” Friedman shared Pizza D’s story on the We’ll Be Right Back podcast this week.  The series features local business owners and employees in the service sector as they manage their way through COVID-19. “When to Shut Down” featuring
Michael Friedman of Pizza Delicious

In this episode, Friedman talks about the early weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak and his ultimate decision to (temporarily!) shutter Pizza Delicious.

How are Magazine Street businesses doing? (Part 1 of 2)

For Part 1 of  this two-part series on Magazine Street, Uptown Messenger is focusing on retail businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Part 2 will focus on restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The following is a snapshot of local shops and galleries. The six-mile Uptown stretch of Magazine Street is home to approximately 300 businesses, creating a hub for tourists and locals to enjoy shopping, dining and cocktails. Five weeks ago, when Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued the stay-at-home order, followed by Gov. John Bel Edwards three days later, these small businesses had to shutter their storefront operations.

Sip and shop — virtually — during the Magazine Street Champagne Stroll

The 10th annual Champagne Stroll on Magazine Street is still on for May 2. It’s just not on the street, it’s online, the Magazine Street Merchants Association has announced. Magazine Street (@MagazineStreet) will host an interactive Instagram live video feed, the “Virtually Champagne Stroll,” on Saturday, May 2. Merchants will offer special deals and followers can chime in with their messages supporting Magazine Street and photos of themselves drinking champagne and shopping online. This night has been one of the flagship events of the Magazine Street Merchants Association, providing heavy traffic and much needed sales to many businesses on Magazine Street, giving them a boost before the traditional summer slump sets in.

Yo Joe! The state of New Orleans real estate today

I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor and Real Estate Broker. For my Yo Joe! column, I’ll be answering your real estate questions and providing market information special to New Orleans. I believe the main responsibilities of a Realtor are to add value and facilitate mutually beneficial transactions. Now more than ever, I hope to help our community make the most informed decisions for planning their housing futures.