Thirty-three years ago, Paul Cosma opened Uptown Auto Specialist (501 River Road, Jefferson, 504-866-8392; www.myuptownauto.com) in the Riv-
erbend section of New Orleans behind Cooter Brown's bar. Recently, he relocated to a larger space at the intersection of Industrial Avenue and River Road in Jefferson.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Kelly Ruddy left Mississippi for Minnesota. She had been laid off from her job in the corporate world and was caring for dogs on the side when her friends suggested she start a business.
Growing up, Katrina Greer, owner of The French Library (3811 Magazine St., 504-267-3707; www.thefrenchlibrary.com), says she always had her head buried in a book. After obtaining her bachelor's degree of commerce with a specialization in retail and marketing, she was "amped" to combine her love of reading with a business venture.
climate is T-shirt friendly most of the year, so it's a fitting place for a T-shirt of the month club. Jackie and John Abston started the NOLA T-Shirt Club (www.nolatshirtclub.com) about a year ago.
Even people who never visit Chez Pierre French BAKERY (2901 David Drive, Metairie, 504-267-5839; 3208 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, 504-467-3176; www.chezpierreneworleans.com) may have tasted one of its confections. For 15 years, Chez Pierre has catered events at venues citywide, including the Superdome, Smoothie King Center and the National World War II Museum.
At Salon D NOLA (317 Burgundy St., Suite 14, 504-581-3490; www.salondnola.com), owner and stylist Dianna Thomas-Weder and her employees offer services ranging from makeup applications and blowouts to hair coloring. The team shares a common goal: make every client feel more beautiful than they did when they arrived.
Tipitina's (501 Napoleon Ave.,
504-895-8477; www.tipitinas.com) opened its doors on Jan. 14, 1977 as a performance space for local artist Henry Roeland Byrd, better known by his piano-banging alias, Professor Longhair (or simply "Fess"). As Fess and his contemporaries reached cult status, so did the club.
The interior of Walls of Books (910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 504-305-5869; www.gottwalsbooks.com) reveals a veritable land mass of new and used novels, enclosed by hunter green partitions. Elliott and Lisa Sarpy opened the Gottwals Books franchise two years ago in a stretch of Kenner that features a lot of big-box chains, but business has remained strong because of their buyback and swapping policies.
Under a canopy of warm incandescent lights in the even warmer night air, a Frenchmen Street wanderer can find a sprawling art oasis. The Frenchmen Art Market (619 Frenchmen St., 504-941-1149; www.frenchmenartmarket.com) is an outdoor art bazaar that began as a pop-up and now features nearly 400 regional artists.
Surprisingly, St. Charles Vision (citywide; www. stcharlesvision.com) is not named after St. Charles Avenue, where its flagship store is located.
"What shoes should I wear with this dress?" It's a common question at boutiques, and one the staff at FeBe (474 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-5250; www.febeclothing.com) loves to answer.
Chef Andrea Apuzzo works about 90 hours per week at his namesake restaurant, Andrea's (3100 19th Ave., Metairie, 504-834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com). From 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.