Signs for the Freret Street Festival have hung over the Freret business corridor for weeks. It’s the trademark spring event of the popular strip that runs from Tulane and Loyola universities to Napoleon Avenue. The 2020 festival, originally scheduled for April 4, has gone the way of Jazz Fest and other events — postponed to a date yet to be determined. “It was a big boost,” Mojo Coffee House owner Angela Estevez said of the festival. “A lot of businesses, I think, that helps them get through the summer.”
In the years after Hurricane Katrina, Freret Street saw an influx of investment, with shuttered banks and gas stations transformed into restaurants, bars and coffee shops bringing new business to the area.
A new addition will soon join the mix of restaurants along Freret Street. This one will offer all-natural handmade pies, both sweet and savory. Windowsill Pies, an 8-year-old catering and wholesale bakery, is planning a cafe with artisan pies and tarts. The goal is to be open by Thanksgiving, said Nicole Eiden, who co-owns Windowsill with Marielle Dupré. “It will be a European-style cafe — multi-generational,” Eiden said.
A Freret Street restaurant was held up at gunpoint early Saturday, after it had closed, the New Orleans Police Department reported. An 18-year-old employee was taking out the trash in the 5000 block of Freret Street at 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, when he was approached from behind by a man with a gun, the police report stated. The gunman demanded that the employee open the restaurant door, but he refused and was struck in the head with the weapon. The gunman knocked on the door, and the manager opened it. Pointing the gun at both victims as they proceeded back inside the restaurant, the gunman went to the cash register and demanded money.
Freret area residents can expect to shop at a neighborhood Rouses Market in the spring of 2020, according to estimates from a Rouses spokeswoman. After easily clearing its major hurdles with the city, the Thibodaux-based supermarket chain is at least 10 weeks out from applying for a building permit, Marcy Nathan of Rouses Markets said. This timetable is in line with the company’s original estimates of an August 2019 start date for construction and a June 2020 opening. Rouses will convert the former Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Shop into a 10,000-square-foot supermarket. Although small for a supermarket — the Rouses on Tchoupitoulas Street is about 70,000 square feet — the company has promised to provide full amenities, such as fresh seafood and prepared foods, at the store.
On Saturday, the Freret Street Festival will kick off to the New Orleans festival season. The seven-block street party features live music on three stages (see the lineup below), a food court featuring top local chefs (with picnic seating at every intersection), more than 200 arts and crafts vendors, a kids’ area, and slightly used dogs and cats up for adoption. There’s no admission charge for the festival, which can be found along Freret between Napoleon Avenue and Valmont Street. Free parking is available in a nearby lot on the corner of Magnolia and Cadiz streets. The festival can also be reached by public transit.
People line the walls of Dennis’ Barber Shop. On one side, framing the long mirror running its length, there are pictures, some faded, mixed in with an assortment of clippings — an old Times-Picayune cover of Mardi Gras Indians, a Fortier High School flag. On the opposite side, they rotate through a litany of chairs, none of which stay empty for long. “People will get a hair cut, get up and sit back down,” said Stan Norwood, a longtime barber at the shop, as he put the finishing touches on Beth Oubre’s hair. Oubre has come to the shop every Wednesday for the past 20 years.
New Orleans-born artist Courtney “Ceaux” Buckley presented his newest collection of paintings to the public on Saturday, October 6. The solo exhibition at Axiom Art Gallery on Freret Street was entitled “Dear New Orleans,” and featured colorful depictions of various scenes and images one can only find in the Crescent City.
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Ceaux is part of the Axiom Artist Collective, which owns the gallery at 4613 Freret Street. Local artists, community members, and supporters visited the gallery for the exhibit opening earlier this month.
Ben Sherman and Stephen Watson have built a culture of great staff, good food, and gracious company over the last several years at Midway Pizza on Freret Street. They are on track to open a second location in the new airport this February with the same funky-cool feeling the Uptown community loves. With a true neighborhood feel and “the best staff in the city,” the pizza joint is proud to be a staple for the Freret corridor. Co-owner Ben Sherman sat with Uptown Messenger—on his birthday of all days—to talk big about the restaurant, their great staff, and the neighbors he loves so much. “Our goal has always been to be a part of this neighborhood.