New Orleans Park's Beignet Battle Rolls On As Lease Revoked

 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A popular New Orleans beignet and coffee shop will avoid being displaced by a competitor at one of the country's oldest urban parks – at least for now.

A judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of Morning Call, nullifying a lease granted to rival Cafe du Monde for a space in City Park's Casino Building, news outlets reported.

Morning Call has operated in the building since 2012, but lost a competitive bid process after being disqualified for failing attend a mandatory pre-bid meeting. However, Judge Christopher Bruno ruled City Park disqualified Morning Call for "arbitrary and capricious" reasons. Bruno also wrote that none of the bids complied with all specifications.

The ruling still leaves open the question of what City Park will do with the Casino Building. Morning Call has been operating there on a month-to-month basis since last summer.

"We feel like we won this battle, though this isn't the 10-year lease we wanted, what we were bidding for," said Morning Call co-owner Bob Hennessy. "We want to stay here and hope we'll be able to."

City Park declined to comment.

Cafe du Monde and Morning Call were born less than a decade apart in New Orleans' French Market in the 19th century. While Morning Call left after more than a century, Cafe du Monde has retained its French Market location, and, today, operates eight others.

Cafe du Monde co-owner Jay Roman said the company was "disappointed" but will "wait and see what the future brings."