Week in Review, Sept. 13-17: Getting Messy
NEW ORLEANS – Here are the week’s top business stories:
Frustration increased citywide as post-Ida debris and trash still hasn’t been collected from neighborhood streets. Regional leaders have failed to find emergency contractors who can get the job done, and the city went as far as to open a transfer station for citizens to dispose of their own trash. At press time, angry residents were planning a Sept. 18 protest, and a video of Mayor LaToya Cantrell arguing with a critic was circulating online.
Carnival Cruises Return
Carnival Cruise Line announced that the Carnival Glory will depart on Sunday, Sept. 19 from the Erato Street Cruise Terminal on a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas. The week-long voyage will be the first sailing from New Orleans since an industry-wide pause in operations that began in March 2020. Local business leaders are cheering the news at a time when the city needs a few wins.
In other maritime news, several south Louisiana ports partnered to request federal assistance as a result of the impacts of Hurricane Ida on their infrastructure, waterways and communities. The ports of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Fourchon, Morgan City, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, South Louisiana and Terrebonne formally asked President Biden for financial support. The lower Mississippi River opened three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in southeast Louisiana as a category 4 storm. By Sept. 2, the Port of New Orleans resumed limited operations and became fully operational Sept. 7.
When One Restaurant Closes, Another One Opens
Restaurateur Robért LeBlanc of LeBlanc and Smith announced this week that he is closing Cavan Restaurant and Bar (3607 Magazine Street) even as he’s preparing to open a new spot, The Will and the Way, in the former Longway Tavern building. “In the wake of Hurricane Ida and after a prolonged period of instability in our industry, we have made the decision to close Cavan,” he said. “This decision was not made lightly – in addition to damage sustained to the building, we unfortunately do not have the human or financial resources to reopen.”
Main Squeeze to Open in Elmwood
Main Squeeze Juice Co., a juice and smoothie bar franchise dedicated to “Making Healthy Easier,” will open its newest location on Friday, Sept. 24 in the Parkway Shopping Center, 1130 S Clearview Parkway. The location will be locally owned and operated by brother-and-sister duo Andrew Blackwell and Jennifer Perkins. It is the pair’s fifth location in New Orleans. Partly owned by former New Orleans Saints Thomas Morstead and Marques Colston, the brand distributed free food to healthcare workers during the pandemic.
BGR Criticizes Hotel Tax Exemption
The Bureau of Governmental Research published a new report raising concerns about the New Orleans City Council’s recent decision to exclude hotel room rentals from the sales tax for enhanced public safety in the French Quarter. The new 0.245% sales tax takes effect October 1. French Quarter voters approved it in April. It applies only in the French Quarter and expires at the end of June 2026. The ballot proposition estimated that it will generate $2.5 million in the first 12 months.