On a pleasant spring evening last week, Irish Channel residents Kimberly Terrell and Justin Vittitow met at Parasol’s to plan a presentation on the air quality in their neighborhood. They were sitting outside the bar, but soon had to go in. Fumes that had drifted in from across the river were burning their throats, Vittitow said.
Nearly two years after the City Council passed a resolution in support of Irish Channel residents’ efforts to rid their neighborhood of toxic fumes from industry on the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish, Vittitow and Terrell — members of JOIN (Jefferson, Orleans, Irish Channel Neighbors) for Clean Air — were back in Council Chambers. They spoke Tuesday (March 28) to the Joint Climate Change and Sustainability and Governmental Affairs Committee. “We still have this.
During Carnival, I stumble across a wonderful block in the Irish Channel, the 2800 block of St. Thomas Street. Although none of the nine houses on the block are painted purple, green and gold, they are so exuberantly colored they put me in the mood for a parade. Color, I discover, is just one of the elements that ties the block together. Take a look, for example, at the wide brick sidewalk, laid in a herringbone pattern.
The FirstLine Live Oak Charter School in the Irish Channel will close at the end of the school year, The Lens reported. The D-rated pre-K through eighth-grade school enrolled about 315 students this year, well short of its 500-student goal. An official from FirstLine, which took over the Constance Street campus from ReNew Schools in 2018, told The Lens’ Marta Jewson that the school had been operating at a deficit for several years, requiring the five-school local charter operator to subsidize Live Oak.
Furniture maker Ruppert Kohlmaier Jr. was just 6 years old when he started working in his father’s shop on Harmony Street in the Irish Channel. Almost 80 years later, he still works there every single day. His long career has been blessed, he said, by having a legion of New Orleanians as clients, whom he considers to be his extended family. Select pieces from his clients’ collections will be on view at the Louisiana State Museum’s Cabildo beginning Nov. 4 in the exhibition “A Century on Harmony Street: The Kohlmaier Cabinet Makers of New Orleans.” Curated by gallery owner Cybèle Gontar, the retrospective honors both father and son Kohlmaier and will be accompanied by a catalog.
Irish Channel residents joined forces with residents of Jefferson Parish’s west bank to rid themselves of a noxious smell that has been wafting through their neighborhoods and into their homes for the past two years, Halle Parker reports on NOLA.com, prompting 850 complaints with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ identified a west bank bulk liquid storage complex known as BWC Harvey as a possible culprit and has installed an air monitor on Tchoupitoulas Street. The citizens group, backed by the New Orleans City Council, is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. John Bel Edwards to suspend BWC Harvey’s pollution permit for review.
New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Co. — the folks who brought us NOLA Brewing craft beer, Sparkling Hop’d Tea and NOLA Hand Sanitizer — is expanding its Uptown offerings with its own brand of pizza. The pizzeria is slated to open Nov. 1 with traditional New York style pizza served in the Irish Channel taproom, which includes expanded outdoor dining space. The pizzeria will take over the spot formerly occupied by McClure’s Barbecue.
Police cars arrived at Tracey’s Bar on Magazine Street on Saturday to break up a crowd of more than 250 people participating in a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl, in violation of a ban on large crowds that Gov. John Bel Edwards announced through an executive order on Friday. The size of the crowd spurred some public shaming from Mayor LaToya Cantrell on social media. “The crowd exceeded 250 people and spilled into the streets. They were dispersed without incident,” said an New Orleans Police Department spokesperson.
A variety of groups were ready to bring an explosion of activity to Uptown streets this weekend. The Irish Channel Parade, a centerpiece of local St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, was planned for Saturday. And the following day, Mardi Gras Indian tribes and second-line groups were to bring their artistry to the streets of Central City for the annual Uptown Super Sunday. Now Irish Channel paraders need to store their throws and Indians need to put away this year’s suits.
Parasol’s Restaurant & Bar, the classic Irish Channel gathering place, is serving drinks again, at least on weekends for now, under new ownership, Ian McNulty reports on NOLA. com. The building’s new owners, Mark Bruser and Kimberlee Banning, have obtained a liquor license and are opening the Constance Street bar Friday through Sunday as renovations continue. The bar was dry for about four months after a city lawsuit over unpaid taxes left the former owners unable to renew the liquor license.
The Irish Channel Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Committee is holding a meeting Sunday to discuss two land-use issues that are coming before the City Planning Commission. One request is for 1027-1029 Ninth St., where Hair of the Dog Saloon and The Sundmaker Firm are requesting a rezoning from residential (HU-RD2 classification) to commercial (HU-B1 classification). The second request is for 2368 Magazine St. Molly’s Rise and Shine wants to rezone the property from residential (HU-RD2 classification) to commercial (HU-B1A classification) and is requesting conditional use approval to serve alcohol. The meeting is Sunday June 30, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Raphael Academy, 500 Soraparu St.