With former neighbor Daiquiri Place Cafe shuttered after losing its liquor license last year, St. Charles Avenue's Santa Fe Tapas has absorbed the crowds Daiquiri Place once held, according to the New Orleans city attorney's office, which has had the restaurant in its sights — and on the Alcohol Beverage Control Board's agenda — for most of 2013.
At today's board hearing, the city attorney's office and Santa Fe Tapas owners were supposed to come to an agreement after the restaurant was faced with "creating a public nuisance" and "permitting any disturbance of the peace" charges with its liquor license in the crosshairs. While both sides seemed poised to come to the terms of the agreement, city attorney Dan McNamara said the bar's lingering issues with loiterers would go away if it agreed to ban go-cups. "My position is that loitering is allowed because they’re allowing people to get a go-cup," he said.
McNamara said the city's alleged attempt to rid bars of go-cups "couldn't be further from the truth."
•Is it worth it? Yes. For about $40, you get to experience dishes at (usually) four different restaurants all in one night.
•Are people like myself there? There were people of all ages and backgrounds there, locals, transplants and tourists. Some people came in groups, but several were rolling solo. I met someone who works for Apple, a reiki practitioner, a home health care nurse and a college counselor.
•How is the food? Pretty good. The tacos I had were all decent, with one restaurant's being stellar. I'm sure other Dishcrawls are better, since the chefs can provide their best dishes instead of dishes that fit with the theme.
•What's the booze situation like? You can buy drinks.
•Can the restaurants handle my dietary restrictions? Yes. Just let your Dishcrawl ambassador know in advance, and it will be done.
•Do you have to do a lot of walking? Everything is within walking distance.
Drinking on the streets of New Orleans is not going extinct.
A flurry of Facebook and Twitter posts this week have some up in arms about the City of New Orleans’ alleged “war on go-cups” — all of which seemed to stem from a few articles promoting the New Orleans Daiquiri Festival Aug. 17. A petition on Neighborland.com asked go-cups to “remain legal."
But none of the articles pointed to any existing or planned ordinances to remove the city’s open container laws, and there is nothing of that sort in the works, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration. “The City is not pursuing a universal restriction on go-cups,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s press secretary Tyler Gamble wrote in a statement to Gambit.
New businesses applying for a conditional use permit to open a bar, restaurant or venue, however, may be asked by the City Planning Commission (CPC) or the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to restrict or ban go-cups — a policy that has been in place since at least 2007, under the most recent zoning ordinances. That conditional use permit allows a bar, restaurant or venue to open within an area typically not zoned for such uses, like a primarily residential area. It also applies to the arts and cultural overlay district on Freret, where the zoning ordinance for conditional use permits reads, “To-go-cups shall be prohibited for those premises with alcoholic beverage permits.”
[edited for clarification to include the following] The upcoming St. Claude Avenue arts and cultural overlay, however, allows bars to have go-cups, provided they have the bar's logo.
In addition, a bar or venue may also sign a “good neighbor agreement” with the board, CPC and neighborhood organizations that prevents the bar from issuing go-cups. The agreements typically also include a litter abatement program, like adding trash cans.
Those restrictions do not apply to existing businesses, including bars and daiquiri shops, unless they are brought before New Orleans City Council or the alcohol board for violations, such as noise, litter, delinquent taxes or other issues. (Most recently at St. Roch Tavern.)
What about drinker’s rights? The city’s open-container law doesn’t prevent drinking outside a bar unless it’s in a glass or “metal” container: According to the city, “It shall be unlawful for owners of establishments which sell beverages in glass or metal containers in the city to knowingly allow any person to leave the premises of such establishment carrying an opened glass or opened metal container.” And the open-container law means there’s no reason you can’t bring your own go-cup to any establishment, either.
Charcuterie and salumi have been enjoying quite a renaissance lately, with meat plates now featured prominently on many restaurant menus and chefs, butchers and specialty suppliers all putting their own stamp on these Old World culinary arts.
Next Thursday, Aug. 15, a special event at Swirl Wine Bar & Market will gather a collection of local purveyors under one roof for a tasting of their specialties paired with a variety of rosé wines. The event format is a “walkabout tasting” where attendees can sample terrines, pâtés, sliced cured meats and other products from the restaurants Ancora, Café Degas, Ste. Marie and Sylvain and the shops St. James Cheese Co. and Cleaver & Co.
You matter, great opinion
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