New Orleans Police Foundation founder to discuss NOPD reform

John Casbon, a business executive who founded the New Orleans Police Foundation in the mid-1990s to promote reform, will discuss the current state and the future of the NOPD at a meeting with neighbors around the Garden District at 5 p.m. Wednesday at 1780 Prytania Street. More details, via an email from the Coliseum square Association:

The future of the NOPD affects our quality of life, our safety and the future of our city. With so much at stake in the major reforms slated for the NOPD, the Coliseum Square Association invites you to:

A Conversation with John Casbon – The Future of the NOPD and what you can do to get involved

In the mid-1990s – when the NOPD was also facing a steep climb – Mr. Casbon took a leave of absence from his job to get involved and link the NOPD and the business community by founding the New Orleans Police Foundation. He is an all-around point person for police reform and he recognizes that the NOPD is again at a critical juncture. He’s looking to generate ideas that make positive changes as the NOPD faces unprecedented challenges.

Plan for late-night “Salsa and Tapas” draws support of neighbors, if no zoning change is required

Mayas Restaurant on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District will have the support of its neighbors for a plan to add live music, dancing and to stay open later for “Salsa and Tapas” — if the changes can be accomplished without a zoning change, members of the Coliseum Square Association decided Monday evening. The restaurant hopes to combine small plates of Latin American fare with live, unamplified music on Friday and Saturday nights, but the plan requires a change to the establishment’s current operating conditions imposed by the city. Restaurant owner Trinity Cazzola presented his plan to the Coliseum Square Association last month, and an informal survey taken by a board member showed only one immediate neighbor strongly opposed to the plan. “Really, Trinity, you’ve been an asset to the neighborhood, and we take that seriously,” said association president Robert Wolf. A different complication emerged Monday night, however.

Coliseum Square to discuss dog park in Annunciation Square, resume talks with Mayas restaurant

The Coliseum Square Association will resume discussion of live music at Mayas restaurant, as well as discuss the possibility of a dog park in Annunciation Square at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Monday, March 19) at Bridge Lounge, 1201 Magazine Street. Other items include supporting national landmark designation of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line and selecting a police community advisor for the association. To view the agenda: Click here

Proposal to make all bars 21-and-older called “misguided” by Lower Garden District neighborhood

Though often cautious when it comes to approving new alcohol-selling businesses within its boundaries, the Coliseum Square Association voted overwhelmingly Monday night to oppose the idea of banning 18-to-20-year-olds from existing bars. Patrons of establishments that primarily sell alcohol must be at least 18 to enter, under state law, and 21 to drink. Under a proposal pending that could come before the City Council as early as Thursday, anyone who wished to enter a bar in New Orleans must be 21, in an effort to curb underage drinking and reduce crime around bars. In a brief but pointed discussion, that idea was decried as “misguided” Monday evening by the leadership of the Coliseum Square Association. “I don’t think keeping 18-to-20-year-olds out of bars is going to reduce crime,” said association president Robert Wolf afterward.

Mayas restaurant’s plans for live music, “Salsa and Tapas” to be heard by Lower Garden District neighbors

The owners of Mayas restaurant plan to add tapas, live music and salsa dancing to the offerings at their Magazine Street restaurant, and will discuss the idea with the Coliseum Square Association at a meeting tonight. The addition of live music comes at the request of patrons, owner Trinity Cazzola writes in a letter posted on the restaurant’s website. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the restaurant hopes to combine small plates with live, unamplified music by local and international musicians and salsa dancing in the bar area. “We are excited about an opportunity of acquainting our patrons with traditional Latin American culture by offering ‘Salsa and Tapas’ in our refined atmosphere – not being offered anywhere else in New Orleans,” Cazzola writes. The request — which also includes the addition of go cups, which are currently prohibited at the location — will require approval by the City Council, so the restaurant has created an online petition for the project.

Jackson Avenue chicken-wings restaurant faces growing opposition to liquor license

Concerns about what neighbors described as repeated disruptive block parties at a Jackson Avenue chicken wings restaurant led the Coliseum Square Association to withhold its support for a liquor license at the establishment Monday night. The owner of Finger Lick’n Wings, Marlon Horton, has said that he originally envisioned his competition for customers as small sandwich shops in the neighborhood, but discovered that many customers prefer takeout orders or delivery because he cannot sell alcohol with his food. On game days, “it’s like crickets” in his restaurant, because sports fans are all at restaurants like WOW Cafe and Wingery that can sell alcohol. Horton extolled the good behavior of his business, noting its well-kept storefront and dedication to fighting litter, but many neighbors complain that he has frequently held large parties that consume all of Jackson Avenue. Horton replied that his local fame as bounce artist 10th Ward Buck means that any event at his store draws a large crowd, but said he was willing to sign a good-neighbor agreement to stop having any parties.

Owen Courreges: The great (un-)American wings debate

It’s downright un-American.  When it comes to being unpatriotic, it’s on par with burning the American flag, kicking the President’s dog and muttering disparaging remarks about Abraham Lincoln’s mother. I’m speaking, of course, of eating chicken wings without a brewski.  Drinkin’ and eatin’ wings is a quintessential part of the American experience. Alas, we live in a city where the propriety of wings and alcohol is a subject of social and political debate.  Currently, three neighborhood associations are debating whether to support an alcohol license for “Finger Lick’n Wings,” a restaurant located on Jackson Avenue south of Magazine Street.  The Coliseum Square, River Garden and the Irish Channel Neighborhood Associations are all poised to voice their viewpoints on this issue. This past Monday, the Coliseum Square Association held debate on this very issue at its regular meeting.  For once, I was actually present.  The owner of Finger Lick’n Wings, Marlon Horton (a.k.a. “10th Ward Buck,” New Orleans Bounce artist extraordinaire), was present to plead for the association’s support in his bid for an alcohol license. As Mr. Horton explained, business is suffering, particularly during Saints games, because nobody wants to eat at a wings restaurant where they can’t partake of alcoholic beverage (it’s like peanut butter and jelly, people).  He noted the local wings chain, WOW Café & Wingery, is popular in part because it boasts a full bar.

Neighbors consider alcohol license for Jackson Avenue wings restaurant

Three adjacent neighborhoods — the Coliseum Square Association, the Irish Channel and River Gardens — are considering a request for a liquor license at the Finger Lick’n Wings restaurant on Jackson Avenue. The owner of the restaurant, Marlon Horton — also known as the bounce artist 10th Ward Buck — told members of the Coliseum Square Association on Monday night that his restaurant is like a “ghost town” on game days because he can’t serve alcohol with his chicken wings. He hopes to apply for a full alcohol license, but primarily wants to be able to serve beer on tap, and pledged to personally prevent any alcohol from leaving the premises. “People think of alcohol as a bad thing,” Horton says. “It only gets worse when the owner doesn’t pay attention to his business.”

Wings restaurant, the Precinct bar, Eiffel Society all up for discussion by Lower Garden District neighbors

Issues regarding Finger Lick’n Wings on Jackson Street, the Precinct bar on Annunciation and the Eiffel Society are all set for discussion by the Coliseum Square Association at tonight’s meeting (Monday, Oct. 17). The wings restaurant is seeking a liquor license, while charges against the Precinct have been pending for months before the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control board. The meeting’s agenda also includes “Eiffel Society quality of life issues” and a presentation on the comprehensive zoning ordinance with city planning officials. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Bridge Lounge, 1201 Magazine Street.