Reginelli’s move across Magazine wins easy approval at first hearing

Reginelli’s proposed move across Magazine Street breezed through its hearing before the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, drawing no opposition and winning unanimous approval from the commissioners. Technically, the State Street pizzeria was asking permission to sell alcoholic beverages in the former WOW Wingery building it is renovating for a planned October relocation, but the city looks at the entirety of the project in evaluating the request. Owner Darryl Reginelli spoke briefly to the City Planning Commission with architect Gary Krasnow (click for video), explaining that he has no problems with the provisions the city staff recommends to prevent the new location from ever transitioning into a bar. “I think it’s a win for the neighborhood. We’re going to completely redevelop the property and bring it back to an old, traditional corner storefront,” Reginelli said.

Former WOW building on State Street receives extensive renovations for Reginelli’s move across Magazine

The back end of the former WOW Wingery restaurant at State and Magazine has been removed and its interior completely gutted, but when Reginelli’s moves across the street this fall, the building’s exterior will be restored to its original appearance of a traditional New Orleans corner grocery, the owner said Monday morning. “We’re trying to bring it back to the traditional old-style corner grocery,” said Darryl Reginelli. “It’s really going to go back to what it was originally.” Reginelli had originally hoped to expand the kitchen at his restaurant’s current Uptown location, but wasn’t keen on closing down to perform the renovations, he said. When the WOW building came up for sale in early 2011, Reginelli bought it instead, planning to move across the street.

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: Downtown Rouses supermarket shows city’s comeback

One of the ways to tell the future of any city or neighborhood is to find out if investors are willing to put up their money to underwrite new ventures. By that criterion, New Orleans’ Warehouse District is on a roll. There is, for example, the new Rouses Supermarket in the 700 block of Baronne Street. A multi-million dollar investment by the Rouse family of Thibodeaux, the store – designed by John Williams, a New Orleans architect with offices in the Warehouse District – is a beauty, frequently filled with shoppers who live, work or pass through the Central Business District. On one recent afternoon, Danae bought a delicious-looking apple pie while I was drawn to the sushi prepared by an attentive Rouse’s chef behind the counter.

Uptown robbery surge brings ill tidings for holiday season

Two robberies at gunpoint were reported within minutes in the Carrollton area Wednesday night, following an armed robbery on Magazine Street in the Garden District and a carjacking in Broadmoor the previous night and a carefully planned business holdup earlier this week, a crime spree that investigators say often intensifies as the holidays approach. The most recent robberies were reported at 12:05 a.m. and 12:14 a.m. Thursday in the Carrollton area. In the first case, two victims on Cherokee Street just off Freret were approached by a man with a silver semiautomatic who demanded their property, then left in a red truck, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District persons-crimes division. In the second case, a victim standing at the intersection of Spruce and Broadway streets was robbed by a man with a black handgun, who then left on foot, Billiot said.

Police searching for stolen hair clippers after Magazine Street business robbery

A beauty supply store was robbed Monday morning on Magazine Street, and investigators hope that the dozens of hair clippers taken will surface and lead them back to a suspect who may also be responsible for a similar robbery nearby in late October. The Sally Beauty Supply in the 4600 block of Magazine at about 8:30 a.m. Monday.  The suspect walked in, implied he had a gun and made the clerk lock the door, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District investigations unit. The suspect then demanded cash out of the safe and bagged up about 40 hair clippers to take with him, Billiot said. “We need someone to come forward.

Audubon Charter expansion, Nine Inch Nails studio redevelopment both win city approval

The proposed expansion of Audubon Charter School’s Broadway campus that has split the neighborhood over parking issues won city approval Wednesday, as did a less controversial redevelopment of the old Nine Inch Nails recording studio on Magazine Street. Audubon Charter | While pick-up and drop-off traffic around Audubon Charter remained a central issue for opponents of its expansion, they raised a number of other issues as well. One neighbor said bringing the building so close to Pine Street would create a “cave-like” feeling on the narrow street, while another said windows in the new building will look directly into his bedroom. Another neighbor said the burdens of having the school were unfair to the neighborhood, since Audubon’s lottery-based admission system prevents many children from attending school there. Officials with the project said the portion closest to Pine Street actually have a lower height limit intended emulate the approximate height of the houses across the street, and that the windows will have a similar placement to those in a caretaker’s cottage currently used for kindergarten classes.

Redevelopment of former Nine Inch Nails studio on Magazine, Audubon Charter expansion on Broadway return to city board

The planned redevelopment of the former Nine Inch Nails recording studio on Magazine Street and the proposed expansion of Audubon Charter School both return to a city board Wednesday morning seeking waivers required to start their projects. The owners of the old Nothing Studios on Magazine near Jena Street intend to redevelop the property into a combination of the existing residential units, a space for a doctor’s office, and ground-floor retail space. The large building would technically require nearly 60 parking spaces, and the ownership of the lot being proposed to satisfy that requirement caused some consternation for members of the Board of Zoning Adjustments last month. The owners of the building were instructed to meet with the neighborhood a second time before Wednesday’s meeting. Similarly, the firm handling the expansion of Audubon Charter School’s Broadway campus asked last month for more time to meet with neighbors about that project.

Blues Festival returns to Magazine Street this weekend

The Third Annual Magazine Street Blues Festival will feature bands, food, art and even a “scooter second line” to raise money in support of the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District. From email:

Get Ready for the 3rd Annual Magazine Street Blues Festival Benefitting the Second District Police Organization – COPS 2! WHEN: This year’s event will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2011 beginning 11 am ending at 7 pm. WHERE: As in the last two years, the festival will be held at the intersection of Magazine Street and Napoleon Avenue – directly adjacent to the 2nd District Police Station. DETAILS: SCOOTER SECOND LINE starting at TRACEY’s on Third and Magazine featuring New Orleans Scooter Groups including New Orleans Scooter Cooperative, New Orleans Scooter Girls and other Scooter enthusiasts!

Police search for alleged serial beer bandit

By Olivia Lueckemeyer, for

Investigators have identified a serial shoplifter who has been caught on video stealing cases of beer from a Magazine Street convenience store on four separate occasions, and are hoping the public can help locate him, authorities say. The alleged beer bandit is 39-year-old Rolland K. Jones, who is wanted by the New Orleans Police Department on four counts of theft by shoplifting, authorities say. Second District detectives say they have video footage of Jones stealing two cases of Heineken beer from the Circle K at 6050 Magazine Street on four separate occasions spanning from May to September 2011. According to incident reports, Jones enters the business and goes straight to the beer cooler before taking off with the stolen goods. Large retail stores such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Circle K are the most common businesses shoplifted from, but all of them have video footage that aids in arresting the shoplifter, said Sgt.