Southern Food and Beverage Museum Opens Sept 29
New home will be on bustling Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. and feature a full service restaurant and bar.
Laying down roots on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the SoFAB Institute, have become an integral part of the renaissance of Central City’s historic commercial corridor.
Liz Williams, president of the SoFAB Institute and director of Southern Food and Beverage Museum, explained that the museum is leaving the Riverwalk for 1504 O.C. Haley Boulevard. The museum was attracted to the property by the proximity of the St. Charles streetcar line, and affordability of the area.
The former Dryades Market has been repurposed into a 30,000 square-foot exhibition space. Although not at 100 percent installation, the museum is hosting its ribbon-cutting event on Monday, September 29. Visitors will be able to view exhibits at the museum as installation continues on the Rouses Demonstration Kitchen, and Purloo, a full service restaurant and bar operated by Chef Ryan Hughes, that will be open for lunch and dinner.
When the museum was at the Riverwalk, Williams estimated attendance at approximately 35,000 visitors a year. With the new facilities, she believes this number is likely to increase to 100,000.
“We believe it will be 60 to 70 percent tourists coming to the city, and about 30 to 40 percent local people from New Orleans who will become members and come regularly to our special programs,” says Williams.
Once the work crews have packed up and left, the lot behind the museum will be landscaped into a culinary sculpture garden. A place designed for locals and visitors alike to sit, or have a space to go to on their lunch break.
A short stroll down the boulevard is the SoFAB Culinary Library and Archive at 1609 O.C. Haley Boulevard. The culinary branch of the New Orleans State Library is home to over 11,000 cookbooks, documents and archival material which reflect the culinary history of New Orleans and Louisiana. The library is open to the public for research and browsing purposes only.
As the museum attracts those wanting to indulge, learn and experience internationally renowned southern cuisine, music lovers will soon follow suit with the Jazz Market set to open in the spring of 2015.