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THE

Defender Picks

 

MARDI

March 28th

Book Reading: Elizabeth Pearce

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

From her new book "Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, & Speakeasies"

 

Spring Publishing Camp

Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 7PM

Book publishing workshop

 

Gabby Douglas

Dillrd University, 7PM

Olympic gymnast talks fame and fitness

 

Laelume

The Carver, 7PM

World soul jazz music

 

Laughter Without Borders

Loyola University, 7PM

Clowns for a cause, to benefit Syrian refugees

 

Tuesday Night Haircuts

St. Roch Tavern, 8PM

Tonight: beer, haircuts, karaoke

 

Thinkin' With Lincoln 

Bayou Beer Garden, 8PM

Outdoor trivia

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Interstellar future funk

 

Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 10PM

Galactic drummer’s side project - also at 8PM

MERCREDI

March 29th

Response: Artists in the Park

Botanical Garden, 10AM

Art exhibit and sale en plein air

 

Studio Opening Party

Alex Beard Studio, 5PM

Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening

 

Sippin' in the Courtyard

Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM

Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle

 

Work Hard, Play Hard

Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM

Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party 

 

Lecture: Patrick Smith

New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM

Coastal scientist discusses his work

 

Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks

Smoothie King Center, 7PM

The Birds and the Mavs go head to head

 

Drag Bingo

Allways Lounge, 7PM

Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night

 

They Blinded Me With Science: A Bartender Science Fair

2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM

Cocktails for a cause

 

Brian Wilson 

Saenger Theatre, 8PM

The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds" 

 

Movie Screening: Napoleon Dynamite

Catahoula Hotel, 8PM

Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!

 

Blood Jet Poetry Series

BJs in the Bywater, 8PM

Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo

 

Horror Shorts

Bar Redux, 9PM

NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts

 

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Bronx hip hop comes south

 

JEUDI

March 30th

Aerials in the Atrium

Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM

Live art in the air

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Mia Borders

 

Pete Fountain: A Life Half-Fast

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM

Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain

 

Big Freedia Opening Night Mixer

Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM

Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume

 

An Edible Evening

Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM

8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden

 

RAW Artists Present: CUSP

The Republlic, 7PM

Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show

 

Electric Swandive, Hey Thanks, Something More, Chris Schwartz

Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM

DIY rock, pop, punk show

 

The Avett Brothers

Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM

Americana folk-rock

 

Stand-Up NOLA

Joy Theater, 8PM

Comedy cabaret

 

Stooges Brass Band

The Carver, 9PM

NOLA brass all-stars

 

Wolves and Wolves and Wolves and Wolves

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support

 

Fluffing the Ego

Allways Lounge, 10:30PM

Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers

 

Fast Times Dance Party

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

80s dance party

 


BZA Backs Bacchanal

City Board Clears the Way for Music to Return to Bywater Wine Outpost



After Bywater residents' pleas sounded off the halls of power Monday, live music is set to return to the courtyard at Bacchanal.

 

One business that fell subject to the city’s permit crackdown found a sympathetic ear in City Hall today, as the Board of Zoning Adjustments overturned the reccomnedations of city staff, and cleared the way for live jazz to return to the Bywater wine spot.

 

Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits, located at 600 Poland Avenue, had been operating since 2002 without a hitch until August of 2011, when police raided the business. The raid revealed alleged violations of the city’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, and Bacchanal fell under the scrutiny of the City Planning Commission for their lack of permits for off-street parking as well as for the live jazz music that often emanates from their courtyard. Murray Roth, attorney for applicant Mary Jayne and Chris, LLC, appeared before the board at February’s meeting to request a 30-day deferral and came back today with an army of neighbors to plead for permission to keep their beloved Bacchanal in business.

 

The request on the docket reads, “to permit the construction of an outdoor stage with outdoor seating/performance area with insufficient off-street parking,” but that language is misleading, according to Roth. He pointed out that there were never any plans to build an outdoor stage but simply to allow jazz musicians to continue to play in the courtyard, as they have been doing since immediately following Katrina. Roth also disputed the wording of “parking variance,” since he contended that the property was “grandfathered in,” and therefore never required to provide the 37 off-street spots required by city ordinance.

 

Bywater residents, including many that live adjacent to 600 Poland, were not taking these “violations” lying down. More than 20 people spoke at the hearing, each arguing the business was an integral part of the community. And it wasn't just about loving live jazz and fine wine; everyone who spoke today credited Bacchanal with improving residents’ safety.

 

Maurice Slaughter, owner of multiple properties in the area, said that the value of his properties would be reduced tremendously if Bacchanal were forced to shut down due to their lack of ability to provide off-street parking. According to Slaughter, Bacchanal is the primary reason that most of his tenants chose to live in that area of the Bywater, and they would no longer feel safe if it were to close. Slaughter was also one of many to call attention to the fact that parking has never been an issue on the block since many patrons of Bacchanal and residents of the area are bicyclists, not drivers. Some of his tenants spoke as well, as did Lauren Swinney, another longtime property owner that lives next door to Bacchanal.

 

As Swinney delivered her speech, onlookers at the meeting began to visibly tear up. She painted a portrait of her porch, where she likes to sit and enjoy the “twinkling lights of Bacchanal’s courtyard.” She praised the thriving community and spoke about attending wine tastings on Saturday afternoons. In her closing remarks, she referred to Bacchanal as a “good neighbor,” and said that it has brought her “safety, a learning opportunity, cheer, and music.” Property owners and tenants weren’t the only ones to come speak in favor of allowing Bacchanal to continue business as usual.

 

Ann Marie Coviello urged board members to “listen to the neighbors,” whose support was evidently unanimous. Alex Fleming presented more than 1000 signatures gathered in support of the motion from an online petition. Vocalist Emily Robertson spoke to thank Bacchanal for the opportunity she has had to perform there and said that business like Bacchanal are crucial for musicians and vocalists like herself to get on the map. Jessie Wightkin, representing the nonprofit Edible Schoolyards, said that Bacchanal’s employees were her “#1 volunteers.” People of different ages and backgrounds all appeared to persuade the BZA to save their community, and the BZA listened.

 

Before hearing the motion, The City Planning Commission’s staff recommendation was to deny the variance. Despite the widespread public support in favor of live music, the board was reluctant about the construction of an outdoor stage and also feared that the parking variance could backfire in the event that future businesses to inhabit the space weren’t as bike-friendly.

 

However, not one person showed to express their opposition, and the board was persuaded to reconsider. When the decision came down, applause rang out through the chamber.

 

In addition to music, the hearing also paves the way for Bacchanal's new indoor kitchen to begin operations. The old kitchen, which operated outdoors, was also cited by city officials in the late-summer raid. Since then Chef Joaquin Rodas has been cooking meals in food trucks, and Bacchanal began building the new kitchen. But Bacchanal still needed the parking issue resolved to ensure they would not have to make any further changes to the property to stay open.

 

Now mostly complete and without anymore zoning roadblocks, Bacchanal owner Chris Rudge said the kitchen and music should be poised to return within several weeks.

hurrah! great article.

hurrah! great article.

This is terrific news for New

This is terrific news for New Orleans.

Thanks for covering this.

Thanks for covering this. Just a quick clarification, Bacchanal is actually doing food through the truck 7 days a week. They just started that schedule right after Mardi Gras.

Of course they cancel sometimes because of rain or whatever, but generally speaking they're going to serve food every night from here on out.

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Contributors:

Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith

Listings Editor


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