Suspect identified, sought in Dublin Street robberies

Investigators have identified a suspect in the recent robberies at knifepoint along Dublin Street and are seeking the public’s help in locating him, authorities said. Trebor Blanton, 23, is wanted in connection with one of three recent robberies on Dublin Street and still considered a suspect in the other two, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD persons-crime division. In each case, victims were followed a short distance by a suspect who then pulled a knife and demanded their belongings, police have said. Anyone with information about these cases should call Detective Jerry Baldwin or Sgt.

Carrollton coffeeshop rejected; alcohol sales at Walgreens on Claiborne approved by City Council

The rejection of a controversial Carrollton coffeeshop, the approval of alcohol sales at a new Walgreens on Claiborne, and other land-use matters on Oak Street, in Milan and in the Garden District were given final decisions this week by the New Orleans City Council. Closing Konbini | A coffee shop/corner store on at 2101 South Carrollton that briefly opened for business without the proper license or zoning was sent back to the drawing board by a sympathetic but ultimately unyielding Councilwoman Susan Guidry during Thursday’s meeting. The building is zoned for residential use but had been an office for years, until it sat vacant long enough to lose its temporary commercial use. Its proprietors said they gathered 500 signatures from the neighborhood in support of their idea, but the more intense commercial use and spot zoning that the project represented were overwhelmingly opposed by neighborhood organizations in the area. “It’s very painful to say no to a business ready to open,” Guidry said, saying she regretted the financial impact to the owner of rejecting his application.

Weekend robberies cluster in Uptown neighborhoods

Robberies were reported at eight different addresses around Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods over the weekend — four in the Riverbend area, two in the Hurstville neighborhoods near Audubon Park, and one each in the Freret and Touro neighborhoods.

72 hours Uptown: Friday fights and Saturday strolls

Friday evening brings the return of Freret Street’s celebrated monthly outdoor boxing matches and tailgating party, and Saturday morning several Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods invite you to join them for a walk. At Friday Night Fights, boxing is only part of the attraction, as the Freret Street Gym recruits all sorts of entertainment and for each month’s event. A recent video by Dillard University students explains:

On Saturday morning, explore a more introspective side of Freret Street — or the Irish Channel, or Oak Street — by taking part in one of three “Jane’s Walks” around Uptown New Orleans. Activist and author Jane Jacobs championed a pedestrian-oriented approach to city planning, and the neighborhood walks are intended to bring her ideas about community identity to life through group exploration on foot. Other events this weekend include a premiere of Lusher students’ short films, a black-tie fundraiser for Audubon Zoo, free comic books and a mother’s day concert.

Two Riverbend restaurants approved for liquor sales, but Central City bar can’t reopen

Cowbell on Oak Street and Pepperoni Cafe on nearby Hampson Street will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, the New Orleans City Council decided Thursday morning, but Bean Brothers Lounge was denied permission to reopen on Danneel Street in Central City. Both Cowbell and Pepperoni Cafe had been negotiating with the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association about the conditions accompanying their permission to sell alcohol, and both were in slightly unusual situations. Cowbell, at the far end of Oak Street, was actually zoned industrial, so it would have received permission automatically had it not been for a moratorium on new liquor licenses in the area. Pepperoni, meanwhile, had previously been in a nearby building that carried an alcohol license, but when it moved to its current location, the license did not move with it. The Pepperoni application had been opposed by the nearby Maple Area Residents at the January meeting of the city planning commission based on the general proliferation of restaurants serving alcohol in the area, but the planning commission granted its unanimous approval.

Uptown events today: Alcohol moratorium, restaurants’ requests before New Orleans city council

Two Uptown restaurants seeking liquor licenses – and a modified ban on new alcohol permits in the Carrollton area – will come before the New Orleans City Council at its 3 p.m. meeting today, as will the proposed Gabrielle restaurant. Cowbell on Oak Street and Ignatius on Magazine Street both have the recommendation of the City Planning Commission for permission to sell alcohol, while the Gabrielle was denied its recommendation to convert the Uptowner banquet hall on Henry Clay Avenue into a full-time restaurant. Meanwhile, the city council is also considering modifying its general ban on new liquor licenses in the neighborhoods around Riverbend area. The ban is not absolute – Cowbell falls within the existing moratorium’s boundaries – but it requires businesses to go through the city council for a moratorium waiver even when their zoning would ordinarily allow it. The law prohibits these bans from being renewed, however, so their boundaries are changed whenever they near expiration.

NOPD: Panhandler attacks man with bottle

A panhandler allegedly attacked a passer-by with a bottle after being refused money on Oak Street just off Carrollton this weekend, police said. The victim was walking near the intersection of Fern and Oak about 5:15 p.m. Saturday when he was approached by a stranger asking for money, according to Lt. Mike Montalbano of the NOPD Second District investigative division. The man refused and walked off, and the panhandler hit him in the back of the head with a bottle, Montalbano said. The two struggled and the suspect escaped, but investigators identified 43-year-old Barry D. Williams as a suspect Monday, Montalbano said. The victim identified Williams from a photo lineup, and police located him Tuesday afternoon and arrested him on a charge of aggravated battery, Montalbano said.

New restaurant negotiates with Carrollton-Riverbend association for liquor license

A new restaurant called Cowbell planned for the far Uptown end of Oak Street is nearing an agreement with its neighbors to be able to serve alcohol, despite a city moratorium on new liquor licenses in the area. The Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association generally supports allowing Cowbell to serve drinks, if the restaurant’s owners will sign and abide by a good-neighbor agreement, said association president Jerry Speir at a Thursday night meeting. What remains are the exact terms of the agreement, and on the table are a list of conditions fairly common on both Oak Street and on other commerical corridors. The business must remain a restaurant, not a bar, meaning that it must sell more food than alcohol. A separate requirement that drinks must only be served with food was discussed, but members rejected it as overly restrictive.