“Pynk Spandex Night,” Oak Street’s annual answer to the downtown crowd’s fondness for white linen, will get started at 6 p.m. tonight (Saturday, Sept. 29) at Glue Clothing Exchange. The lineup for the evening includes a Glue Fashion Walk and performances by Darrell Poche, Spookey Lestrange and the Billion Dollar Baby Dolls, DJ Ruckus, Jeff Guitar Nelson, comedian and general of ceremonies Chris Fontana, The Bayou Chieftains, Ariel Moon and more. For details, see Pynk Spandex Night on Facebook.
Two new restaurants planned for opposite ends of Uptown — the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria on Oak Street, and Mais Arepas Colombian diner on Carondelet in Central City — both passed the City Council with flying colors Thursday morning, as council members lined up to express their enthusiasm for both projects. Mellow Mushroom developer James Son told the council that his restaurant will fill a void for pizza on Oak Street, and will do so with healthier ingredients and gluten-free options that area relatively new to the area. Though the restaurant is a chain, he said, the effect of that will largely be limited to his operational plans — ingredients such as produce will be locally sourced, and even his countertops and signage are being designed by craftsmen on Oak Street. “Whatever is good for Oak street and the neighborhood of Carrollton is also good for us and our property values,” Son said. City Councilwoman Susan Guidry praised Son’s presentation and his many hours of conversations with the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association, leading to a good-neighbor agreement with them.
As the winds of Hurricane Isaac began picking up on Oak Street on Tuesday morning, boards may have covered the shopfront windows, but nothing could cover the owners’ spirits. “Oak Street is open for businesses,” said Chiba owner Keith Dusko. “The 8300 block, anyway.” Dusko was busy putting plywood in the windows, but with a generator at the ready, he said he had no intention of closing. “No reason to close,” Dusko said.
With a theme of “Motorboatin’ on Oak,” the irreverent Krewe of O.A.K. will hold their annual Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade through Carrollton, starting at the Maple Leaf Bar at 7:30 p.m., according to an event page on Facebook posted by the bar. Aaron LaFont of Offbeat magazine has a short preview.
The Uptown New Orleans burger scene has already improved greatly over the past year, but three more burger concepts are on the way: steamed organic burgers at Juicy D’s on Oak Street, the rapidly growing chain Smashburger in the 3300 block of Magazine, and the (literally) high-profile burger emporium Charcoal at Jackson and Magazine. The features of each are described in detail today by Brad Rhines and Mary-Devon Dupuy of NOLA Defender.
Jacques-Imo’s restaurant on Oak Street will host a fundraiser for the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans on Thursday. A raffle will be held from 5 to 10 p.m., and 20 percent of the proceeds from dinner service Thursday night will be donated to the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans, which supports local cancer patients. See below for details of the event, via an email from the association:
Dine at Jacques-Imo’s
When: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Raffle Time: 5-10pm
Dine at Jacques-Imo’s to benefit our local cancer association. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans (CAGNO), a local non-profit funding cancer treatment and living expenses for cancer patients in the greater New Orleans area. Eat, Drink…It’s Good!
A woman who was being robbed of her SUV just off of Oak Street was shot at by her attacker when she tried to run away, police said. The woman was not hit and her vehicle was found minutes later in a west Carrollton yard, but the gunman remains at large. The woman was returning to her car parked about a block off of Oak Street near the intersection of Dublin and Zimpel streets about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when a teenager wearing a fisherman-style hat and holding a silver revolver approached her from between two parked cars, demanding her purse and keys, according to a report from the NOPD Second District. The woman dropped her belongings and the gunman ordered her to pick them back up, but she refused and began running back toward Oak Street, police said. As she ran, the robber fired a shot at her, then left in her white Mercedes SUV, the report states.
As Oak Street’s status among New Orleans “going out” destinations continues to rise, a number of residents’ groups have engaged a planning firm to help them ensure that the “mixed use” commercial corridor evolves into something more diverse than a strip of bars and restaurants. Carrollton-Audubon Renaissance Inc., formed by residents’ groups from around the Carrollton area, is sponsoring a study by the planning firm Villavaso and Associates to help define the “neighborhood mixed use” zoning designation currently slated for Oak Street. The firm has created a complete list of the current uses of buildings on Oak Street, and planners are now meeting with individual business owners and residents to determine how they would like to see the rest of the street develop. After public hearings about their findings, they will draft language about Oak Street to be inserted into the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance the city is assembling now, said planner Steve Villavaso of the University of New Orleans at a meeting last week of the Carrollton Riverbend Neighborhood Association. “We have put Oak Street under our microscope,” Villavaso said.
The topic of live music at the Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant will be discussed by the Carrollton Riverbend Neighborhood Association at their monthly meeting tonight, as neighbors also hear about a “future of Oak Street” visioning project. The Mellow Mushroom developers have been meeting with the association for months, and have come to an accord on most of the issues surrounding their proposal — though some neighbors remain concerned that the combination of live music and alcohol sales in the former yoga studio could one day turn the restaurant into a performance venue. Also tonight, UNO planning professor Steve Villavaso will introduce the “future of Oak Street” visioning project sponsored by Carrollton-Audubon Renaissance, Inc (CARI) and discuss plans for public input. The group will meet at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, June 14) at Squeal Bar-B-Q on Oak Street.