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.

Drive-thru preschool graduation gives 4-year-olds their day in the sun

 

The carpool line at the Child Development Program on Claiborne Avenue looked a bit different Saturday (May 16). Children’s heads popped up through sunroofs as teachers greeted the line of cars with cheers, waves, balloons and gift bags. Preschoolers were being treated to a drive-thru graduation. Of the 54 total students, ages 6 weeks through 4 years old, at the Uptown center, seven were graduating 4-year-olds. After being told by several parents that the sudden shelter-in-place orders brought on confusion to many of the children, particularly the older students, CDP staff members determined that they needed to do something to lift the children’s spirits.

Class of 2020, Part 1: High schools turn to virtual resources, social media and creativity to honor graduates

 

The final months and weeks leading up to high school graduation tend to hold anticipated end-of-year senior traditions, celebrations and countdowns, but this semester is different. The class of 2020 won’t be able to celebrate their accomplishments with hugs from faculty and classmates this month; they won’t be able to graduate in a venue surrounded by cheers from family and friends; and they won’t be able to walk proudly across a stage to receive a handshake and a diploma. When Gov. John Bel Edwards announced school closures for the remainder of the semester in mid-March, students were faced with the challenge of adjusting to a new normal of distant learning. Now, with the state-wide stay-at-home order extended through May 15, graduating seniors are confronted with another major unprecedented change: a socially distanced graduation celebration. “Once you start your freshman year of high school, all you can think about is walking across that stage your senior year to make yourself and family proud,” said Rayon Pratt, a graduating senior at Landry-Walker high school.

Catching up with actor Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce talks COVID-19, “Jack Ryan,” “Burning Cane,” and WBOK in interview with Kristine Froeba
New Orleans native, “Treme” and “The Wire” actor, Wendell Pierce is coming off of one of the most exciting periods of his career. And although COVID-19 has created a lull in almost everyone’s life and career, Pierce seems to be as visible as ever, both on the ground in New Orleans and on our collective streaming services. It is also Pierce’s instantly recognizable, dulcet tone that narrates the new Popeye’s NOLA Strong campaign released last week. It’s a video that caused more than a few locals’ eyes to well up. When the restaurant chain created its NOLA Strong family meal box, directing all profits to benefit the non-profit Second Harvest Food Bank, they called on Pierce.

For the city’s small restaurants, federal aid falls flat

 

Mason Hereford shut down the dining rooms of his two restaurants by a vote. Days before Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered restaurant dining rooms closed, Hereford gathered the staff of Molly’s Rise and Shine and Turkey and the Wolf, and, united and socially distanced, they elected to shift operations to take-out only. Hereford thought his establishments would operate this way for a week or two. They lasted only three days, before, with safety in mind, he shut them down completely. In 2017, full-service restaurant jobs constituted 7% of New Orleans’s workforce according to a report by The Data Center.

Which businesses and restaurants are open in Uptown New Orleans?

[Last updated 8:30 a.m. April 30]

Uptown is blessed with many excellent restaurants. The continued closure of their dining rooms is necessary for public health but difficult the talented and hard-working staff of these establishments. Luckily, we don’t have to deprive ourselves of the food we’ve grown to love and depend on during our confinement. Many of our local restaurants are offering to-go and delivery options with precautions for social distancing. Below is a list of Uptown eateries and other businesses with information on which are delivering, which are offering takeout and which have decided to close for a while — plus information to help you treat yourself while giving your neighborhood restaurants a needed boost.

Along Oak Street, business owners preserve their community during the stay-at-home mandate

Along Oak Street, from Carrollton Avenue to the river, the toll of the coronavirus pandemic is clear: at least 13 stores and restaurants have signs announcing their storefronts are closed due to the virus. But for the businesses that have held on so far, the initial panic has worn off, and there’s hope that they’ll make it to the other end of this crisis. “I’ve learned you’ve just got to adapt. You’ve got to be so flexible,” said Chamain O’Mahony, co-owner of the bakery Breads On Oak. O’Mahony had to shut down her bakery’s downtown location, as foot traffic there has essentially disappeared, but she’s still doing take-out Thursday through Sunday on Oak Street.

How are Magazine Street businesses doing? (Part 1 of 2)

For Part 1 of? this two-part series on Magazine Street, Uptown Messenger is focusing on retail businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Part 2 will focus on restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The following is a snapshot of local shops and galleries. The six-mile Uptown stretch of Magazine Street is home to approximately 300 businesses, creating a hub for tourists and locals to enjoy shopping, dining and cocktails. Five weeks ago, when Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued the stay-at-home order, followed by Gov. John Bel Edwards three days later, these small businesses had to shutter their storefront operations.

Viewpoint: Mail-in ballots are essential for the safety of Louisiana voters

Who wants to potentially put themselves or their family members at risk by voting at a poll on upcoming election days? With Louisiana’s presidential primary and other ballot measures now scheduled for July 11, state officials are squabbling over how to hold safe elections during the pandemic and beyond. Newly minted state Rep. Mandie Landry, District 91, pre-filed House Bill 419, to allow all registered voters to utilize voting by mail in every election. Co-authored by Reps. Aimee Freeman, District 98, and Matt Willard, District 97, this legislation would impact the November elections and beyond.

Yo Joe! The state of New Orleans real estate today

I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor and Real Estate Broker. For my Yo Joe! column, I’ll be answering your real estate questions and providing market information special to New Orleans. I believe the main responsibilities of a Realtor are to add value and facilitate mutually beneficial transactions. Now more than ever, I hope to help our community make the most informed decisions for planning their housing futures.