Viewpoint from a chef and restaurateur: ‘We don’t know what our future is’

The following “Open Letter to NOLA” was posted on social media by Eric Cook, the owner and executive chef of Gris-Gris, a restaurant on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District. It was addressed to “our friends, neighbors and family” and is published here with permission. As you know, we’ve been trying to fight the good fight through the past few months. Gris-Gris was one of the first restaurants to shut down when this whole thing began. We’ve been trying to keep everyone safe and do our best to keep our little corner of Magazine Street alive and well so we can keep doing what we love, and bring love to you guys every single day.

Vino Wine and Spirits is uncorked on South Carrollton

The once bare white walls of a South Carrollton Avenue storefront are now highlighted by bottles of red, white, rose and sparkling wines from France, the U.S., Spain and Italy, along with some select local and global spirits. If those walls could talk, they would tell of the journey Vino Wine and Spirits took, including delays due to COVID-19 pandemic regulations and the cyber attack on City Hall, as they were navigating the already arduous permitting process. Then there was the card reader that wasn’t going to arrive in time for the opening, and then when it did, it was in pieces to be assembled. The good news is that a new chapter began the last week of June, when Vino Wine and Spirits welcomed its first customers, card reader be damned. Vino Wine and Spirits is the realization of a dream of Allyson and Milton Hernandez.

Yo Joe! Real Estate Advice for June 2020

Property Management and COVID-19: New Orleans Real Estate Expert Breaks It Down
Landlords and tenants across the nation are facing unprecedented circumstances as COVID-19 continues to pose some uncertainty across the rental housing market. As U.S. households feel the financial strain brought on by the pandemic, residential and commercial landlords are working hard to accommodate these challenges. For many, sudden financial losses and the difficulties of relocating safely have become an all too real and challenging prospect. For property managers, a shift in strategy is necessary to balance compassion for those with newfound financial issues, while also supporting their clients and delivering ROI on their investments. Through the first two weeks of June, we’ve seen 26 multi-family homes in Orleans Parish get to closing, projecting to 52 closings for the month.

Viewpoint: Magazine Street businesses prepare to reopen amid new protocols

Resilient Magazine Street merchants like Juliet Hainkel Holton and Desiree Petitbon are making final preparations for reopening their two shuttered shops on Saturday (May 15). The co-owners of the trendy boutiques Basics Underneath and Basics Swim & Gym, 5513-15 Magazine St., Holton and Petitbon were inspired to tiptoe into retail 21 years ago after a fateful trip to France. They realized a customer base existed Uptown for properly fitted foundation garments that are popular during the Mardi Gras season as well as for weddings and other special events throughout the year. What began as a fun little sideline blossomed into their main job. Through hard work and dedication, the two single moms steadily built a successful business that brought in more than $1 million annually until COVID-19.

New Orleans-based company offers customer logging technology for local businesses

As the City of New Orleans moves into phase one of reopening, customer logging has been a suggested safety precaution, especially for high-traffic locales. IDScan.net, a local developer of identity verification and information gathering technologies, is now offering New Orleans companies a touchless solution for automatically logging customers. “Our solution helps businesses across industries protect their customers and their staff,” said Denis Petrov, CEO of IDScan.net, in a statement. “Our solution, which logs customers and gets them through the door as fast as possible, is particularly useful where there is high traffic.”

IDScan.net’s visitor management platform scans government-issued IDs and instantly pulls the individual’s name, address, and date of birth. It then creates a record for the individual in a database, along with the time and date of the visit.

The Commissary offers free food as the Dickie Brennan & Co. venue nears opening

 

A steady trickle of cars flowed past a renovated garage on Orange Street on Friday (April 24) as The Commissary chefs, staff and family passed out free meals of barbecue shrimp and grits with smothered okra through the car windows to an extended family of hospitality workers and musicians. Lower Garden District neighbors walking and bicycling past were also offered the free meals that included ice cream po-boys from New Orleans Ice Cream Co. The restaurant group Dickie Brennan & Co. has developed the 7,000-square-foot project, which includes 6,000 square feet of commercial kitchen. The original plans were to prepare food for the group’s five restaurants – Palace Café, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Tableau and Acorn — to streamline operations and boost consistency for signature dishes.

How are Magazine Street businesses doing? Part 2: Restaurants, bars, coffee shops

For Part 2 of this two-part series on Magazine Street, Uptown Messenger takes a snapshot of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (Part 1 focused on local shops and galleries.)

Along Magazine Street, a gastronome can sample French, Indian, Vietnamese, Cajun, Creole, Chinese and homegrown flavors in myriad restaurants that dot the six-mile stretch. Bars, an important part of New Orleans social life and culture, can be temples of cocktail culture or beloved neighborhood hangouts. Coffee shops offer places to relax, visit, study or work and have their own individual vibes. Along with the mix of retail stores, these businesses have made Magazine Street a popular destination for tourists and locals.

We'll Be Right Back: New Orleans Hospitality

‘We’ll Be Right Back’: Pizza D owner shares thinking process for closing restaurant

“How are we having to make this choice between our employees’ livelihoods and their health?” Michael Friedman of Pizza Delicious asked as his management team made plans for the current health crisis. “How do we run a business at this time where there’s so many unknowns, where the health risk is so unknown, and make this happen so that our employees can continue to have jobs?” Friedman shared Pizza D’s story on the We’ll Be Right Back podcast this week.? The series features local business owners and employees in the service sector as they manage their way through COVID-19. “When to Shut Down” featuring
Michael Friedman of Pizza Delicious

In this episode, Friedman talks about the early weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak and his ultimate decision to (temporarily!) shutter Pizza Delicious.