‘Out of time and options,’ Live Oak Cafe is latest casualty of pandemic losses

The Live Oak Cafe — the epitome of Oak Street’s laid-back, creative vibe — is closing its doors Sunday (May 8) after its Mother’s Day brunch. Announcing the closure on the cafe’s Facebook page, chef and owner Clare Leavy said that the uptick in business during Carnival season was not enough to overcome the losses experienced during the pandemic. “Simply put, we are out of time and options,” Leavy stated. The cafe is known for its fresh, down-home renditions of classic brunch fare with dishes such as Sweet Potato Benedict and its beloved Shrimp & Grits. And every meal at Live Oak has been served with a side of live music.

Red Gravy on Magazine to close, citing staffing, pandemic and hurricane woes

Red Gravy Cafe is closing after serving rustic Italian fare on Magazine Street’s restaurant row for less than a year. The last day of business will be Saturday (April 30). Owner Roseann Rostoker blames bad timing and the combination of the pandemic, staff shortages and Hurricane Ida for the closure. Rostoker and her husband and business partner, Lou Lombardo, are from New Jersey and Philadelphia, respectively. They moved to New Orleans 10 years ago and opened Red Gravy as a brunch and lunch spot on Camp Street in the Central Business District.

Langenstein’s turns 100, and it’s inviting customers to a celebration

Langenstein’s Super Market, the city’s oldest full-service grocery store, is throwing a party Thursday (April 21) to celebrate its 100th birthday. The public is invited to the celebration at its Arabella Street store. Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra are providing the music, and Langenstein’s is providing spirits and snacks. Langenstein’s has been a family market since Michael Langenstein and his sons, George and Richard, opened their corner grocery on Arabella and Prytania Street in 1922. The fourth and fifth generations of the same family are now running three Langenstein’s supermarkets and Prytania Wine & Spirits, which is housed in the same corner shop as the original Langenstein’s.

Viewpoint: New Orleans wins big with 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four

New Orleans’ reputation as a world-class destination for sports tourism will be on full display next week (April 2-4) when thousands of fans and players descend upon the city for the 2022 Men’s Final Four in the Caesars Superdome. It will be the sixth time that the Men’s Final Four has been held in New Orleans. For more than 30 years, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation has played a leadership role in coordinating the highly competitive bid processes that have led to more than 100 signature sporting competitions in the city. They have also worked seamlessly with various national governing bodies like the NCAA to execute these multi-million-dollar events, many of which draw television audiences in the millions.  

“This year is extra special,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards at last month’s “Tip Off” press conference. “When you think about what we, in Louisiana, and what this city and region have gone through these past few years, through it all the NCAA has stuck with us.”  

New Orleans had already hosted the Super Bowl several times when in 1987 former First NBC Bank president Ian Arnof approached the Young Leadership Council about the idea of a nonprofit sports commission aimed at developing New Orleans into a national leader in sport tourism.

Magasin Vietnamese Café closes on Magazine, joins Mukbang on Oak Street

Magasin Vietnamese Café recently closed its Magazine Street location, but the Magasin egg rolls, pho, vermicelli and other menu favorites can now be found on Oak Street. 

The owners of Magasin, formerly at 4201 Magazine St., and Mukbang Seafood at 8312 Oak St. have merged the two restaurants. The Oak Street restaurant’s menu will pull double duty and offer Mukbang’s buttery boiled seafood and Magasin’s Vietnamese favorites. “The building was sold, and our lease ended last year,” said Mukbang and Magasin owner Kim Nguyen. “We figured the merging of the two businesses would be a great new beginning since the building on Oak is a 3,000 square foot space.

Prytania Theatre reopens after hurricane repairs and renovations

After Hurricane Ida’s damages prompted a six-month closure, the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., reopened last week. The theater has returned to its daily showings of current and classic films.

Hurricane Ida took out “a big chunk” of the roof, so the building had significant water damage, Prytania owner Robert Brunet said. “We had to do a lot of demo and cleaning,” he said. 

Brunet restored the theater to its pre-storm condition and added updates with a few special touches. However, he said, he kept the classic, familiar feel of the theater that fans have come to appreciate. “The theater is 110 years old, and we wanted it to still feel that way,” he said.

All Things Green and Glittery at ricRACK pt2 (sponsored)

This Mardi Gras we saw a lot of New Orleanians taking the time to make their own fabulous costumes from scratch. ricRACK, a sewing and textile recycling non-profit, played a huge role not only providing fabrics and supplies, but also teaching sewing and costume construction classes. Putting the focus on community, ricRACK — a place to learn how to sew, create, grow, imagine, re-use, sustain, and succeed — has championed interactive sewing and construction classes for kids and adults of all ages. Its sewing classes and crafting camps for kids also highlight the need for more awareness surrounding fast fashion and ways to extend the life of one’s wardrobe. Anyone can visit the non-profit in Central City to learn more about the textiles we use every day, and ways we can change our shopping habits and creative outlets to ease the burden fast fashion has on our planet.

Northshore Moving Co. brings exclusive White Glove service to New Orleans (sponsored)

Moving has never been easier! As anyone who has lived in The Big Easy knows, moving to a new apartment or house can be a surprisingly difficult challenge. Dealing with  potholes around the city, traffic challenges, and road work can make moving a real challenge. Between packing and moving, there is lots to organize and it can be a lot of hard work. Let the seasoned professionals do the heavy lifting for you and help make your next move seamless.

La Vie En Rose Café finds a new home in the Lower Garden District

La Vie En Rose Café, a coffee shop that honors both innovation and Creole tradition, has moved to the Lower Garden District. 

The shop has moved from sharing space with Big Sexy Neon at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. to a new location at 1420 Annunciation St. Its soft opening will be Monday (Feb. 14), in time for Valentine’s Day and the heart of the Carnival season. Owner Kirby Jones initially opened La Vie En Rose Café as a bike café pop-up at Martin’s Wine Cellar.

Wetlands Sake brewery and tasting room plans grand opening in the Lower Garden District

Wetlands Sake in the Lower Garden District, the first sake brewery in New Orleans, will celebrate its grand opening on Tuesday (Feb. 8). New Orleans natives Lindsey Beard and Nan Wallis are at the helm of the project that serves different sakes brewed at their taproom on Orange Street. Wetlands Sake has been three years in the making. Wallis traveled to New York City and noticed that sake had become a staple of many restaurant menus.