Keen-eyed New Orleanians watching Amazon Prime’s new miniseries “Daisy Jones & The Six” are noticing many of the scenes are shot – if not set — in New Orleans. The city stands in for New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Albuquerque, among others. Episode 9 of the 1970s rock ‘n’ roll fable features Uptown’s Domilise’s Po-boy & Bar as a Chicago sandwich shop.
The idea to film in New Orleans came from local film location manager Batou Chandler. Chandler told Uptown Messenger she wanted to support local small businesses and a favorite film location, City Park, all in need of a financial boost during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At first, the miniseries’ executives only considered a local shoot in City Park’s Ted Gormley Stadium, as a stand-in for Chicago’s Soldier Field in a concert scene. However, as location scouting progressed in 2021, New Orleans’ participation grew.
The series’ co-executive producer Mike Nelson loves New Orleans, Chandler said. “We began looking into New Orleans to portray many of the cities in the script,” she said.
Chandler took set designer Jessica Kender to lunch at Domilise’s and shared her stories of the restaurant and its longtime matriarch, Miss Dot. “It was perfect. The space evoked the story’s personality, and it had a look we couldn’t replicate elsewhere,” Chandler said.
Domilise’s suitability eventually led to actor Riley Keough, who is Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, and British “Hunger Games” actor Sam Claflin filming against its retro paneling.
Some décor needed to be changed for the tiny Annunciation Street restaurant to become a circa 1977 Chicago diner. Anything post-1977 was removed, but the bones of the bar and restaurant that opened in 1918 remained untouched. However, much to the chagrin of locals, the sandwiches appear to be served on toast.
“They came in on a Sunday and transformed Domilise’s into a ’70s diner,” said third-generation co-owner Joann Domilise. “It was two days of preparation and one day of shooting, on March 20th.”
The walls were stripped of memorabilia, while vinyl booths and period-appropriate condiments, dishes and artifacts were added. The crew brought in old coolers, period menus, a cake display, mid-century coffee pots and a retro malted milkshake machine. Some things remained, like the ancient Domilise’s cash register and a vintage Barq’s sign.
“They put a fake wood laminate on our tables, then peeled it off afterwards,” said Joann Domilise. “But they used our chairs and barstools. The restaurant was completely transformed.”
Other local venues used for filming include the Civic Theatre, Joy Theater, Roosevelt Hotel, French Quarter, City Park and Lakefront Airport, subbing for various locations and cities on the band’s concert tour.
In addition, a Pittsburgh house where a pivotal porch scene was filmed is a property in Covington, while character Graham Dunne’s domestic scenes were filmed in a house on Bienville Street in Mid-City.
“Daisy Jones & The Six,” tells the drug- and alcohol-fueled story of a fictional 1970s rock band, based on the best-selling book written by Taylor Jenkins Reid and inspired by Fleetwood Mac.
The book was adapted for film by New Orleans-born Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company. “Daisy Jones & The Six” is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.