Restored fountain unveiled in Coliseum Square Park (Photos)

Photos by Zach Brien,

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Lower Garden District Association announced the completion of the Lafon Fountain in Coliseum Square Park. The fountain is dedicated to preservationist Howard Schmalz, who was instrumental in getting the Lower Garden District placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in defeating a Mississippi River bridge that would have cut into the heart of the neighborhood.

City Council shuts down plan for daiquiri shop on lower St. Charles Avenue

A controversial plan for a daiquiri shop in the Lower Garden District was scuttled Thursday when the City Council unanimously backed Councilman Jay Banks’ motion to deny a conditional use permit for the storefront building at 1610 St. Charles Ave. The decision came after the months of vocal opposition from neighborhood groups, with members bringing up the unruly crowds that gathered outside the Daiquiri Place Café, two blocks away at 1401 St. Charles Ave. That business was shut down in 2012 after the city revoked its liquor license due to repeated, multiple violations.

Proposed nail salon wins initial approval — with new second-story residential addition — for St. Charles Avenue storefront near universities

A nail salon proposed for a university-area building on St. Charles Avenue that has been a number of short-lived restaurants in recent years won initial approval from the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, and it will include the addition of a new second-story living space — despite some some neighbors concerns’ that parking is already too tough even with the space currently vacant. A company called La Vang Pearl is planning the nail salon at 7457 St. Charles Avenue, a former grocery at the corner of Cherokee Street which in the past few years had been the home of Fat Hen Grocery and an Uptown expansion of Willie Mae’s Scotch House. After the latter business closed in 2017, the building remained vacant for more than six months, so it lost its grandfathered commercial status.

Decision on lower Magazine Street performance venue postponed: Owners challenge neighbors’ right to appeal

The latest challenge to the zoning of a new immersive-theatre venue in a Magazine Street warehouse at the edge of the Lower Garden District was postponed Monday to December, after the building owners countered with the allegation that their critics have missed the deadline to object. Lower Garden District residents Seth and Rosa Dunlap began meeting with their neighbors in the spring of this year about their idea to convert the vacant warehouse at 1152 Magazine Street into a new venue for a permanent “immersive theatre” performance called The Fallen Saint. The Prohibition-era jazz-themed show will be created by veterans of the Blue Man Group and other avant-garde theatre projects in New York City, and the venue will include a full-service restaurant open when the show is not playing, the Dunlaps have said. The project requires a conditional-use permit from the city for the bar, the live entertainment and the size of the venue, and as it progressed through the city’s approval process, it became increasingly controversial within the neighborhood. While the Lower Garden District Association ultimately stayed neutral on the issue, a group of other neighbors led by artist William Monaghan and some of the founding members of the Coliseum Square Association hired attorney David Halpern to help them oppose the project based on concerns about noise, loitering and traffic.

Pay It Forward Happy Hour to benefit Broadmoor Improvement Association, Love in Action Outreach

Trepwise and the Eiffel Society are hosting a Pay It Forward Happy Hour this Wednesday to highlight two local nonprofits. November’s “trepwork for good” event will have a “Feed It Forward” theme and will showcase two nonprofits with food pantries: Broadmoor Improvement Association and Love in Action Outreach. Food donations will also be accepted at this event, and the heaviest non-perishable food donation will receive a prize. Happy hour prices will be available all night long with $3 beers, $5 house wine, $6 well drinks and signature cocktails. Guests can enjoy curated cocktails such as the “NourishMint Julep,” as well as a rum punch—both $5.

Developers withdraw proposal for grocery/condo project in NHS building on Freret Street

The controversial proposal to create a grocery store inside the former Publiq House building on Freret Street and with a new 24-unit condo building over the adjacent parking lot was withdrawn by its developers Thursday from consideration by the New Orleans City Council. The proposal by developer Green Coast Enterprises and building owner Neighborhood Housing Services at 4528 Freret Street was “withdrawn per the applicant’s request,” the clerk said during Thursday’s meeting of the City Council. No reason for the decision was discussed at the meeting, but some neighbors and residents have opposed the new condo building on the basis that it adds too much density burdens on the neighborhood. Thursday was the final Council meeting before the deadline for action on the request, but withdrawing it leaves the developers more flexibility to bring it back than a defeat would have. Still pending before an eventual City Council decision is an unrelated request by Rouses to build a grocery at the former Bloomin’ Deals site a block away on Freret Street.

Daiquiri shop planned for St. Charles Avenue splits City Planning Commission

The controversial plan to open a new daiquiri shop on St. Charles Avenue created a heated debate before the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, and the commission ultimately decided to let the City Council make a decision without their recommendation. The owners of Tigers Paw daiquiri shop in Baton Rouge are planning to convert a storefront at 1610 St. Charles Avenue (most recently the home of Krewe du Brew coffee shop) into a New Orleans expansion of their business. Neighbors have said the proposal is too reminiscent of the former Daiquiri Place Cafe that was ultimately shuttered by city officials following allegations of crowd behavior so unruly that the police could not keep it under control, and the Lower Garden District Association has voted to oppose the project.

Daiquiri shop proposed for St. Charles Avenue draws opposition from Lower Garden Association

Opposition to a plan to turn a vacant coffee shop on St. Charles Avenue into a small daiquiri bar grew more formal Monday night when the Lower Garden District Association voted unanimously to oppose the project at its hearing before the City Planning Commission next week. Tiger Paw Daiquiris and Grill, a Baton Rouge-based daiquiri shop, is seeking to move its LSU-themed business into the former Krewe du Brew location at 1610 St. Charles Avenue, proposing a small bar with just seven seats inside so patrons can grab a drink and move on. Owners Chris Mercier and Ferdinand Jefferson ran into vehement opposition from nearby residents and business owners this summer at a neighborhood meeting about the request, which is now set for a City Planning Commission hearing on Oct.

Councilmen Joe Giarrusso, Jason Williams to discuss city budget with Carrollton residents

Two members of the New Orleans City Council — Joe Giarrusso III, who represents District A, and Jason Williams, elected by the city at large — will meet with Carrollton neighborhood activists and residents next week for a discussion of the upcoming city budget process and priorities. The meeting hosted by the Carrollton Area Network will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at St. Mary’s Dominican High School at 7701 Walmsley Avenue. Attendees will be invited to play the Big Easy Budget Game, a simulator designed by the Committee for a Better New Orleans that demonstrates how the city must spend most of its money, and allows residents to allocate what remains among their priorities.

City planners endorse “Fallen Saint” immersive theatre venue in Lower Garden District

As the first hearing before city officials approaches for a warehouse on Magazine Street slated to be converted into the venue for an avant-garde immersive theatre project called “The Fallen Saint,” Lower Garden District residents are continuing an increasingly heated debate about whether its traffic will revitalize that corner of the neighborhood or overburden it. The proposal by Lower Garden District residents Seth and Rosa Dunlap to redevelop a warehouse at 1152 Magazine Street — practically underneath the Pontchartrain Expressway — into the permanent venue for a show that will plunge visitors into a Prohibition-era jazz story, with multiple small performances simultaneously ongoing in different spaces within the building. They propose eight shows a week — once a day during the week, and two on the weekends — with a restaurant and cafe operating full-time during the day and during the show, and would like to be open in time for Jazz Fest 2019. The project needs a conditional-use permit from the city to become a bar with live entertainment as its secondary use, and that request is scheduled to have its first appearance before the City Planning Commission on Tuesday afternoon. The city planners who reviewed the proposal are recommending the commissioners approve it, saying it meets the goal of the master plan to increase walkability of major commercial corridors.