Uptown taco hotspots to defend Top Taco titles

Barracuda, winner of the 2019 Top Traditional Taco award, has announced it will return to the one-night only taco and tequila throw down in March to defend its title. Barracuda, a walk-up taco restaurant with a tequila garden, opened at 3984 Tchopitoulas St. in 2019 after winning the Top Taco award. Also returning to defend a 2019 Top Taco title is Tacos & Beer, which won the Critic’s Choice for Best Creative Cocktail. Tacos & Beer is located at 1622 St.

Muralist BMike to exhibit solo show at Newcomb Art Museum

New Orleans artist and international muralist Brandan “BMike” Odums will celebrate the opening of his latest exhibition, N̶O̶T̶ Supposed 2-Be Here, at Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane this Saturday, Jan. 18. This will be his first ever solo exhibition in a museum setting. Odums is most known for his large-scale artwork; he is the artist behind the murals on the Lafitte Greenway, Buddy Bolden on Rampart Street and parts of the Toledano Wall Mural. Much of his activist art lives inside Studio BE near his alma mater, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

Friends, family gather to remember ‘Mr. Chill’

On Saturday, family and friends gathered at the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club headquarters on Broad Street to remember Wilbert “Mr. Chill” Wilson. Wilson owned Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts and Mr. Chill’s First Class Hot Dogs & Sweet Pastries, both on Carrollton Avenue. After his Broadmoor barber shop flooded in the Katrina levee breaches, Wilson put up a tent at an abandoned gas station and began cutting hair, creating a popular post-disaster gathering spot and attracting national media. Wilson died Dec. 26 after along battle with pancreatic cancer.

32 years after his father reigned, Robin Thicke picked as Bacchus LII

By Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger

Clark Brennan, Captain of the Krewe of Bacchus, announced Thursday that Bacchus will host its first legacy monarch — singer-songwriter Robin Alan Thicke — who will follow in his father Alan Thicke’s footsteps as Bacchus LII on Sunday, Feb. 23. Alan Thicke served as Bacchus XX in 1988. “The Krewe of Bacchus is all about family,” said Brennan. “The sons and grandsons of our founding members are a proud part of our organization.

Beloved barber ‘Mr. Chill’ dies at 51

Wilbert “Mr. Chill” Wilson, Uptown’s own barber and businessman, died on Thursday, Dec. 26, at the age of 51, as reported by WGNO. Wilson’s reported cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Wilson was best known in the city as an entrepreneur. He owned Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts (2736 S. Carrollton Ave.) and Mr. Chill’s First Class Hot Dogs & Sweet’s Pastries (575 S. Carrollton Ave.).

City Council honors Ashé Cultural Arts Center co-founder Carol Bebelle

One of the most impactful cultural institutions in New Orleans will welcome a new leader as a community pioneer retires. Ashé Cultural Arts Center co-founder Carol Bebelle is leaving her executive director position, which she has held since its inception. The New Orleans City Council began their Dec. 5 meeting by honoring Bebelle as well as the center’s positive impact on community and culture via Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. “This is a moment of extreme pride for us as we honor Carol Bebelle for her 21 years of leadership at Ashé Cultural Arts Center,” said Ashé Board President Beverly Andry at the meeting.

Danae Columbus: Riverboat Louis Armstrong caps off 50-year career in tourism

When local tourism’s most established entrepreneur Warren Reuther, Jr. christens the new 3,000 passenger Riverboat Louis Armstrong on Saturday afternoon, it will be a crowning achievement of an almost 50 year career as a visionary leader in the tourism industry. 

The owner of Hospitality Enterprises and Big Easy.com, Reuther employs more than 500 people and currently operates a diverse array of interrelated businesses including hotels, restaurants and convention facilities in Natchez, Mississippi; Natchitoches, Louisiana; and Playa Del Carmen, Mexico; the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen; New Orleans Tours; On the Town Concierge; Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours; Destination New Orleans Management Inc.; New Orleans Airport Shuttle; and Hop On Hop Off New Orleans. Reuther is recognized as the dean of New Orleans tourism, having served 10 years as chairman of the Morial Convention Center and 12 years as chairman of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, now New Orleans & Co. In addition Reuther was instrumental in helping develop the cruise ship industry in New Orleans by lobbying for the passage of legislation that allowed the ships to keep their casinos open while traveling to and from the mouth of the Mississippi River. A decade later, the success of cruise ships and cruise-ship gaming paved the way for the passage of riverboat gaming legislation that Reuther also nurtured, and eventually our land-based casino. Born in the 9th Ward, Reuther attended St.

Rouses on Tchoupitoulas builds avocado mountain, goes for world record

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

The world record for the largest display of a Mexican fruit has been set by a Thibodaux-based grocery chain’s Uptown store on Tchoupitoulas Street. If that sounds strange, here’s another way of saying it — Rouses shipped in 112,000 avocados, and put every single one on display. The behemoth layout went up Wednesday at the Tchoupitoulas location, with images of it quickly spreading across social media after shoppers encountered the most avocados they had ever seen. Rouses marketed the event as a new festival of sorts, saying Wednesday marked the start of the four-day “Avocado Fest,” which included chefs preparing avocado dishes, free samples of avocado and, yes, a photo opportunity with an avocado character. The display and surrounding activities were all essentially a store promotion, albeit on a much larger scale than Rouses normally does, organizers said.

Danae Columbus: Legislators want to hear from citizens, Sen. J.P. Morrell says

In a recent speech to the Committee for a Better New Orleans, or CBNO, outgoing state Sen. J.P. Morrell urged attendees to talk with legislators statewide about issues important to them. “Legislators want to hear from the public,” said Morrell. Sometimes a legislator might not have a great deal of information about a specific bill and has not made a decision how to vote. When they hear from citizens – especially those who are directly impacted by the legislation or the problem it would solve – their decisions are better informed. “You can change legislators’ minds by talking to them,” Morrell explained.

Advertiser: Dr. Ali Sadeghi raises $30,000+ at New Orleans inaugural gala to fight breast cancer

Dr. Ali Sadeghi hosts
“Let’s Hear It For The Girls” breast cancer fundraiser gala
City lights twinkled on the waterfront. Neon windbreakers and leg warmers twirled on the dance floor at La Maison Du Lac on Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans on a beautiful fall night. On the 25th of October, the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery hosted its first “Let’s Hear It For The Girls” Gala to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Complete with a DJ jockeying ’80s dance tunes, delicious food, a photo booth, and a live auction, the event raised over $30,000 for the cause. Though the party was a ball, breast cancer is a serious matter that deserves attention.