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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Live Oak Cafe focuses on emerging musicians

Posted By on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Nyce performed at Live Oak last week - COURTESY LIVE OAK CAFE
  • Courtesy Live Oak Cafe
  • Nyce performed at Live Oak last week


The breakfast/lunch spot Live Oak Cafe (8140 Oak St., 504-265-0050; www.liveoaknola.com) is putting a new emphasis on its daily music offerings and providing a space for emerging and familiar musicians to spread their wings.

“(Our music booker is) determined to have as much variety in here as possible,” says Clare Leavy, chef/co-owner of Live Oak Cafe, which opened in January. “We try to have a different genre every day, and it’s really interesting. The focus is on emerging artists that most people haven’t heard about yet.”

The diversity in music genres melds with Live Oak’s customer base, which ranges from young families to college students to neighborhood regulars and tourists attracted to the bourgeoning restaurant, entertainment and retail scene on Oak Street. Leavy and her partners decided to take the music schedule in a different direction after pianist Charles Farmer, who had performed daily for eight years at Live Oak and its predecessor Oak Street Cafe, retired.

“We did it for the idea of it, really,” Leavy says of changing up the music schedule. “New Orleans is all about music and should be a playground for musicians to play whatever kind of music they want to play — bring whatever they have to the table.”

There will be regular appearances by musicians such as Sarah McCoy, who is scheduled to play once a month; and Katarina Boudreaux, who plays Mondays and Tuesdays for the next month; as well as some musicians who play regularly in clubs around town, such as Dave Easley (Nov. 2) and Norbert Slama (Oct. 25). For a daily schedule, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Live Oak, which offers home cooking with Creole and Cajun influences, plans other updates, starting with expanding the cafe with a new kitchen and doubling the size of the dining room. The restaurant will close in December, and Leavy says the construction timeline calls for the restaurant to reopen in time for Carnival — with the possible addition of dinner service.

The cafe is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.


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