Swamp Fête Celebrating South Louisiana Culture

Louisiana’s Audubon Zoo will host Swamp Fête this November. The event celebrates South Louisiana culture. There will be fun activities for all ages including Cajun and Zydeco music, dancing, a Cajun menu and native Louisiana animals.

The live music will be at both the Capital One Stage and in the Cajun Dance Hall. The lineup for the Capital One Stage includes Roots of Music, The Pine Leaf Boys, Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots, and Lost Bayou Ramblers. The Cajun Ballroom lineup includes Cajun Music Preservation Society, Sarah Jayde Williams, and T’Monde.

Patrons will learn about wetlands and wildlife conservation through presentations. The Swamp Exhibit will be the popular spot where you will see Sassafras the Louisiana black bear cub along with his friends two North American black bear cubs from Alaska.

Due to efforts of the wildlife experts the Lousiana black bear is now off the endangered list. This is good news for Louisiana’s official state mammal.

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A New Development for New Orleans Six Flags Property

Ever since the destruction of New Orleans Six Flags during Hurricane Katrina, the amusement park has sat rotting.  The 227-acre property
will be redeveloped by Bayou Phoenix.

Troy Henry the leader of Bayou Phoenix has big plans for the property which includes water parks, youth sporting facilities, two hotels, an 8.5-acre clear lake for swimming, a movie studio, an amphitheater, retail outlets and other amenities.

“Today is just the beginning. There is an incredible amount of work that needs to be done, but we are here for it,” said Jeff Schwartz, economic development director for the City of New Orleans.

The next year the plans will be drafted and the site cleared out.  After the old rides are demolished and junk removed, they can get a better lay of the land.  This means the plans might change during the project. With the help of Henry’s partner, Thomas Tubre, an owner of a local construction company, the project will be a success.

“They do all the technical stuff, all the crazy stuff most people cannot do,” Henry said. “So, once they get in there, we may have to move some of the components around. They’ll be the same components, but maybe not in the same place.”

“We look forward to bringing new commerce to New Orleans East. There’s significant untapped potential for family entertainment and travel sporting events,” said Henry.

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New Orleans New Restaurants This Fall

New Orleans has many new restaurants on the scene this fall. They are all in different stages and in different areas throughout town.

The first up that has opened its doors is Mister OSO which opened September 26th. This new project was created by the founders of Billy Blatty (Barcadia) and Denver (The Culinary Creative Group). It is housed in what used to be an arcade tavern. They serve smoked meat tacos, ceviches and Latin American. This will not be the first of Mister Oso, as there is already a very successful one in Denver.

Las Cruces Tex-Mex just opened its doors in Metairie. The founders of Central City BBQ are the team that is opening this new place. It will be a friendly family outdoor space that serves tacos and margaritas.

Gaia is a new-age steakhouse that is something different to the market. The food will be cooked on a charcoal grill and they will also serve seafood and charcuterie and raw shellfish. They will even serve a high-end steak coated in gold. It will be housed in the former Melting Pot.

Ba Chi Kitchen & Bar

This is a restaurant that is coming back to a new location in Fat City where Korea House used to be. The original was closed in July so many residents are familiar with the cuisine and they will also have a lounge and a bar.

Felipe’s Taqueria in Jefferson Parish serves tacos, burritos, nachos and plates over the counter. They also have a full bar with tons of cocktails to choose from. There is indoor and outdoor seating along with a greenspace patio.

There are plenty more that will open their doors in late winter or early new year. There are a ton of new dining places popping up all around New Orleans, some existing changing up and some new to the Big Easy.

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Live Music at the Dew Drop Inn

This fall is going to be great for the fifty-year-old Dew Drop Inn in Central City. For the first time in more than half a century, they will be hosting live music. The Dew Drop Inn is a staple in New Orleans and is said to be “the swankiest spot in the South. It has been New Orleans’ leading Black music venue for three mid-century decades.

The musicians who have played there date from the 1940s to 1970. Deacon John Moore is still on the scene and is helping with the renovation of the historic property. He is excited and hopes that they can book Irma Thomas who actually got her start at the club. The club has opened its doors and had many famous musicians play including Allen Toussaint, Earl King, James Booker, Charles Neville, Earl Palmer, Ray Charles, James Brown and Little Richard.

Curtis Doucette Jr, the lead developer is excited about the renovation. “I have to say, this is the very first time that I’ve fallen in love with a building. Before I fell in with the building itself, I fell in love with the history that was made in this building,” says Doucette.

The famous club started out as a barbershop at 2836 LaSalle St. in the 1930’s. In fact, there were several structures that housed a barbershop, restaurant, bar, hotel and entertainment venue. When it reopens, it will have all of these except the barbershop, explains Gabrielle Begue, a historic . tax credit consultant.

So the hodgepodge that Gabrielle described, in various states of collapse, is what we’ve been propping back up and making better than ever. It’s been a real kind of labor of love to breathe new life back into these historic buildings,” describes Kristian Sonnier of Ryan Gootee General Contractors.

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Port of South Louisiana To Purchase Avondale Old Shipyard

The Avondale Global Gateway will be purchased by the Port of South Louisiana for a different price. The 254-acre site will be purchased for $330 million which is less than the original offer price of $445 million. The Port of South Louisiana and the current owner of the shipyard, T. Parker agreed to the new price. The new price comes as a reaction to the Governors and other officials saying it will be hard to “justify such a hefty price tag;”

The port will pay $280 million in cash and the rest will be on a $50 million mortgage. “A project this magnitude was always going to take time. We have done our due diligence, looked at this project from every angle and have worked to ensure the State of Louisiana gets the best deal possible,”says Paul Matthews with Port of South Louisiana.

The current owners of the Avondale shipyard have struggled to keep tenants. They purchased the shipyard in 2018 for $60 million hoping to build it into a hub of trade and light industry.  In order to do this, the company sunk another $90 million into renovations, upgrades and environmental remediation.

Currently the shipyard has been valued at a price between $239 million and just under $328 million. On top of that they will need to put up around $60 million in capital expenditures for the first several years.

“We have turned a derelict site into a profitable center of commerce, created hundreds of jobs, and secured tenants in our core industries of renewable energy, construction materials, and sustainable food products,” explains Anderson.

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