Nomiya ramen shop expands with move to new Magazine Street spot

Nomiya, the ramen shop serving the Japanese comfort food since 2017, has moved three blocks up Magazine Street to a spot that allows room for expansion. Sunday (Nov. 27) was Nomiya’s first day in the building formerly occupied by Del Fuego, a Mexican restaurant that had operated in the space since 2014. Del Fuego closed during the summer. Nomiya is owned by Hidetoshi “Elvis” Suzuki, former owner and chef of Kanno sushi bar, and brother and sister team Allen and Christie Nguyen.

Merriment on Magazine kicks off the holiday season

The quirky collection of small businesses on Magazine Street provides an enjoyable, locally based opportunity to cross items off on your Christmas list. The Magazine Street Merchants Association is sweetening holiday shopping with “Merriment on Magazine” on Saturday (Dec. 3). The participating businesses will offer special treats and exclusive holiday offerings for Saturday only, from noon to 5 p.m.

Dating back to the early days of the expansion of the city beyond the original French Quarter, Magazine Street is a six-mile stretch of businesses, restaurants and bars with their own character. The day provides shopping specials beyond Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, notes Natalie Steuer, the director of the Casey Langteau Art Gallery, a  Merriment on Magazine particpant.

Piety and Desire on Magazine is a haven for chocolate devotees

Piety and Desire Chocolate, a haven for chocolate lovers, can now be found on Magazine Street. 

Owner Christopher Nobles, a New Orleans native, discovered chocolate-making eight years ago. He opened a small retail store in 2017 on South Broad Street near Washington Avenue, in the same building where his chocolate is manufactured. 

While the Broadmoor shop closed during the pandemic, Piety and Desire Chocolate continued to sell and ship its decadent treats. The Piety and Desire chocolate factory remains on South Broad. 

Piety and Desire Chocolate is manufactured from ethically traded cocoa beans, and whole chocolate bars are labeled with the names of where their cocoa beans were grown, including Peru, St. Lucia and Vietnam. The café on Magazine Street opened in April.

Art for Art’s Sake to ring in the cultural season on Magazine

Art for Art’s Sake is returning to Magazine Street for one night only on Saturday, Oct. 1. The fall evening event traditionally heralds the start of the city’s art season. More than 100 businesses stretching the entire length of Magazine Street will be participating, offering free white wine as well as art shows, special deals, promotional sales and live music. Art for Arts’ Sake
Oct.

Free HIV test center plans to open in former Garden District day spa

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, or AHF, has plans to open an HIV testing center, health care center, pharmacy and Out of the Closet thrift store on Magazine Street. 

The Los Angeles-based foundation has purchased the building on Magazine and Sixth streets, the former location of the Belladonna Day Spa. The health care center is tentatively set to open in August, an AHF spokesperson said. AHF is the world’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care, according to the foundation’s website, operating in 45 countries. In the U.S., its medical centers are in 17 states, including Louisiana, with a clinic in Baton Rouge. 

The foundation plans to the entire space of the 19th century building at 2900 Magazine St. The first floor will be used as a thrift store and likely a donation center; the second floor will be used for testing and a medical clinic.

Wishing Town Bakery: Come for the dumplings, stay for the pastries

Wishing Town Bakery, a Metairie favorite for Chinese dim sum since its inception in early 2020, has brought its dumplings and sweets Uptown to the former Café Luna spot at Magazine Street and Nashville Avenue. The founders of Wishing Town, Vivi and Kevin Zheng, are from Guangzhou, China, and began delighting customers with their egg tarts and cakes in early 2018 in a small spot on David Drive. In 2020, they expanded to their current Metairie location in the building that was once home to the famed Morning Call Coffee Stand. 

The pandemic caused the café to shut its doors temporarily, and upon reopening, welcomed customers from all over town, including people who drove from Uptown just for a taste of what the Zhengs had to offer. Opening an Uptown location of the café seemed like a logical next step, said the Zheng’s business partner Aisha Chen, the manager of the Uptown location. “We weren’t completely sure about the new location until we saw the space,” Chen said.

Eye Wares clinic and optical shop to open at Magazine and State

Local optometrist Dr. Lauren Agnew purchased the 20-year-old Eye Wares clinic and optical boutique two weeks before Covid-19 shut down optometry practices across the nation in March 2020. Despite the rough start, she is opening her third practice Friday (June 3) in the newly constructed building at the site of the former Shell station at Magazine and State streets. After multiple delays due to Covid and Hurricane Ida, the official public grand opening is scheduled for Friday. The commercial building at 6001 Magazine is also home to a Starbucks, Club Pilates and the Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery. With Eye Wares, the building will be fully occupied.

Magazine Street businesses getting ready for Champagne Strolling on Saturday

The Champagne Stroll on Magazine Street is back. The after-hours shopping and sipping soiree will take place Saturday (May 14) from 5 to 9 p.m.

Special sales,  sips, bites, music and more will be available up and down Magazine. See here for a list of businesses and their Champagne Stroll offerings. Some of the Magazine merchants are getting ready for Champagne Stroll by decorating champagne bottles. See them here.

Red Gravy on Magazine to close, citing staffing, pandemic and hurricane woes

Red Gravy Cafe is closing after serving rustic Italian fare on Magazine Street’s restaurant row for less than a year. The last day of business will be Saturday (April 30). Owner Roseann Rostoker blames bad timing and the combination of the pandemic, staff shortages and Hurricane Ida for the closure. Rostoker and her husband and business partner, Lou Lombardo, are from New Jersey and Philadelphia, respectively. They moved to New Orleans 10 years ago and opened Red Gravy as a brunch and lunch spot on Camp Street in the Central Business District.

New building on Magazine Street gets HDLC approval over neighbors’ objections

In a divided vote held after two months of hearings, the Historic District Landmarks Commission gave the green light to a new mixed-use building on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel. Their April 6 ruling will now go before the City Council, which could overturn the vote. The Garden District Association has filed an appeal, GDA Executive Director Shelley Landrieu told Uptown Messenger. Garden District, Irish Channel and Lower Garden District residents came out in force to oppose the plans for the three-story 15,000-square-foot building planned for an empty lot at 2230 Magazine St. The HDLC received 29 letters of opposition to the plans and one letter of support, according to city records.