NoDef Nods: Drinks

Drinking in New Orleans is a constant, but the culture that surrounds it is constantly evolving. Craft cocktails, local distilleries, and eco-friendly packaging are just a few of the past year's significant additions to the spirit scene.


1. Pravda Becomes Perestroika

Downtown has long dabbled with craft cocktails; Tonique and Sylvain provided a beachhead, but when the heavyweights from Cure took over this prime real estate on Decatur St., the ante was upped. A quick, clean, bar staff with an encyclopedic knowledge of libations coupled with a trailblazing brand made for an instant hotspot. Bone up on your bitters.


2.  King Cake Vodka 

As 2012 dawned, a new drink was set to inundate Mardi Gras parties everywhere. Lucky Player’s King Cake Vodka became one of the most sought-after  – and most fiercely debated – products of the season. The true test will be whether it can sustain itself for another Mardi Gras. Meanwhile, Lucky Player’s creators have already moved on to Fleur de Lis vodka, Lemon Meringue and Candy Apple flavors, and beyond. Owner Alfredo Diaz told us there’s another locally-themed flavor in the works, but it’s still top secret.


3.  Homemade Bitters

Three years ago, most of us barely knew a bitter beyond Peychauds and Angostura; however, the quick rise of craft cocktails changed that. After all, how can you make an East India cocktail without Angostura Bitters! The next step is the fusion of the DYI movement into the classic ingredient, and cocktail crafters like Jed Haas from Atelier Vie, Nick Dietrich and his artisanal team, and many more are taking on the challenge. Even frozen Daiquiri buffs like OH NO Co.'s Jeremy Thompson have caught on to the homemade bitters trend. Cocktail enthusiasts are mixing them up in their own kitchens. Get your saucepan ready!


4. Homegrown Explosion

For years, New Orleans was a booze-soaked city, but with only a couple exceptions, the alcohol was shipped in from other places. In 2012, South Louisiana showed it was seriously ready to get in on the production end. LA 31 – Bayou Teche brewery is growing about as fast as possible and rolled out several new offerings this year, giving Cajuns a beer all their own. Within the city, Atelier Vie gave the city absinthe and a new locally-distilled vodka. Meanwhile, NOLA Brewing continued to expand, and made brewery tours the best excuse to leave work early on Friday. All three open 2013 poised for continued growth, and the door now seems open for many more like them.


5. Beer in Cans

Can we can? Allen Toussaint told us the answer for years, but it took a trend in the craft brewing movement to convince the locals to catch up. Mardi Gras was forever changed for fans of decent brew as Abita and NOLA Brewing rolled out their fine alcoholic product in aluminum. In New Orleans, this offered the opportunity for endless enjoyment without fear of police reprisal, as well as the opportunity to recycle. The beer buffs were also satisfied, as the cans keep the brew insulated from defiling forces like light. On second thought, why do we still have bottles again? Look for even more cans in 2013.



6. Fat Harry's Fire

A hangout for the collegiates of many New Orleans generations was lost to flames in early September, as the bar and rafters above badly damaged the St. Charles Ave. fixture known for its raucous Mardi Gras crowds. The owners are hoping to reopen the place in time for Carnival’s biggest parades. In the meantime, Uptowners were reminded yet again that New Orleans’ institutions are indeed fragile.


7. Gingeroo!

James Michalopolous' Olde New Orleans Rum decided to venture beyond hard liquor into carbonated, alcoholic beverages. Mind you, we're not talking about beer but the unlikely mix of ginger, cayenne-infused rum, Louisiana cane sugar, and carbonated water.  The result of the seemingly disparate ingredients is delicious. Gingeroo borders on medicinal offering an almost energetic effect, not to mention a perfect "hair of the dog" remedy. For those wishing to move a little faster, try floating a little Amber Rum on top.


8. Tropical Wine Smoothies 

If daiquiris don’t sound classy enough, there’s now a drink on Bourbon Street that might pass muster. Conveniently located just off Bourbon near Preservation Hall, the tropical wine smoothie stand on St. Peter St. is an oasis that proves there is, indeed, room for new ideas on modern-day Bourbon Street. The idea was thought up long ago in the Riverwalk Marketplace, but the dreamsicle of the French Quarter seems to be its true home.


9. Celebrity Bars in the French Quarter

The year’s prime sign that Hollywood South may have jumped the shark wasn’t in all the arrests, but in the transactions. They’re putting down roots, ma! Channing Tatum came to the unthinkable revelation that Bourbon Street is a good place to open up a nightclub. The Magic Mike star wasted no time installing the stripper pole at his Storyville send-up, Saints and Sinner’s. Meanwhile, Robert Watters opened Backspace Bar.


10. Carousel Bar Monteleone Remake

The Carousel Bar is a New Orleans classic, but the Monteleone's iconic revolving bar was not content to sit on its laurels. Instead, the bar itself was restored, the lighting improved, and most importantly, the back area was completely remodeled. New windows onto the street lighten up the space have served to transform the area from overflow destination to destination. Lagniappe is the great space for nightly music that resulted from the added space.


11. Heineken Harder to Buy at Second Lines


The beloved guy pulling the cooler by the side of the parade route was forced to go legit this year, as Mayor Mitch and the City Council passed a measure that requires second line vendors to get a permit. After a lot of cuttin’ up, the fee was reduced to the final number of $25, and an initial wave of protest quieted down. But with the Super Bowl around the corner, don’t expect to resell a 12-pack without a fight.


12. Rise and Fade of Sailor Jerry


Last Mardi Gras, Sailor Jerry was everywhere. The rum brand payed homage to tattoo pioneer, Norman “Sailor Jerry,” Collins, and all that accompanies contemporary tattoo culture which is to say lots of throwbacks. There were Sailor Jerry windows in bars all over the quarters, a Sailor Jerry classic car, and a Sailor Jerry photo booth hidden in an airstream trailer. However, as fast as the sailor Jerry blitz began, it waned. The rum is still around, but in the end, Jameson retained the throne.


Thirteen to Watch for in 2013:


1. More Wine

Finishing off the bottle has never been a problem in New Orleans, and even the politicians seem keenly aware that this has the makings of a great market. Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson-Palmer recently test-drove some new legal-speak that defines a wine bar, and cleared the path for Faubourg Wines to open up shop on St. Claude. Wine bars aren’t allowed to have smoking, live music or gambling. There may be a critical mass for this business model, but with the definition just put in place, New Orleans is unlikely to reach it for a long time.


2. Little Gem Saloon 

A storied jazz landmark in the middle of the CBD, the Little Gem Saloon is looking to reintroduce New Orleans to an old-time jazz hall in the new year. Featuring upscale Creole cuisine, cocktails that date to the early 1900s and a multi-million dollar renovation rooted in the same time period, this new addition should be a bright light along a once-great corridor badly in need of a shot in the arm.


3. Craft brewing from the Parishes 

Bayou Teche and NOLA Brewing proved that while Abita is going national, New Orleans is not a one-beer town. Leading the charge of new craft brews is Parish Brewery, whose excellent Farmhouse IPA is already winding its way onto the local scene. This is a national trend that’s slow to make it to Louisiana, but, as you’ve probably guessed by now, we welcome it with open arms.


4. The Daiquiri’s Return

We may have lost Daiquiri Place Cafe in 2012, but New Orleans’ favorite concoction seems poised for a more organized return in 2013. The Save the Daiquiri campaign is giving the drink a cause it never knew it had. Heck, even Gabby’s has grown into a successful spot that can sustain itself on St. Claude. Daiqs will never go away. No, they will only grow stronger. Now many bar owners and mixologists are going back to classics, trying their hands at hand shaken daiquiris.


5. Bud Light Hotel

Super Bowl visitors might forever think a hotel in New Orleans is owned by Bud Light, and we’re accepting it. For four days, the Super Bowl’s top sponsor is rearranging over at the Wyndham Riverside during the first weekend in February. While it may not be the ideal sponsor for local-loving locals, it’s yet another spectacle that will probably be hard to avoid checking out. They’re transforming the outdoor valet area into an enclosed party tent with the capacity for over 300 merrymakers. Even if we wanted to, locals won’t be able to get a room during the Bud Light’s reign at the Wyndham. Rooms are reserved for faces like Dave Koechner, and a few lucky contest winners.


6. Ice Snobs

If you haven't heard of a Kold Draft machine, get ready for an education. With the rise of a craft cocktails comes the rise of ice. It seems that not all cubes are created equally (in fact, some cubes are balls). Different drinks require different ices, but for the most part a dense, clear ice is best. Also important is reducing the surface area of ice to reduce melting, but counter-intuitively, larger cubes result in lower overall surface area. NOLA is starting to see a stream of dense ice solutions, some bars are installing high end ice makers, while others are ditching the machine for large blocks of ice literally chiseled into each drink. It’s a slippery slope kids.


7. Drink-Inspired Pop-Ups

Company Burger was at the forefront of booze-first pop-ups in 2012, hosting a series from Joe Briand called BTG in the early part of the year, then island hopping with Cure’s Nick Detrich for the Tiki-flavored The Offshore. With the growth of pop-ups and experts like Briand and Dietrich heading further downtown, look for more of these special pairings in 2013.



8. Nuisance Bar Battles

By taking out the aforementioned Daiquiri Place Cafe, Mayor Mitch and co. showed they were willing to do battle with so-called nuisance bars, no matter how popular or centrally-located. In the case of the Daiquiri Place, the bar was a stop on second lines and right on St. Charles Ave. As the city continues to crack down, more high-profile showdowns seem certain at this point.


9. Red’s Uptilly Tavern 

As a new year dawns, Carrollton Station is no more. But a couple of blocks away, the owners are setting up shop at the former location of Bruno’s. Red’s Uptilly Tavern isn’t a replacement to the Station by any means. But, at 7601 Maple St., you’ll likely be happy to know you’re in familiar company. Look for more on this bar as it gets closer to opening.


10. Credit Cards in Bars

Call it historical accuracy, but previously plastic never really took in NOLA bars. The cache of cash met little resistance from tavern owners and employees in no rush to increase their tithe to DC. However, these times, they are a changin. Mayoral mandate is putting plastic in cabs, and cheap technology like the Square Reader have made credit cards almost commonplace. More significantly, as the tourism industry continues to explode, the financial benefits of taking plastic are hard to deny. Even border of the quarter stalwart, Buffa's was forced to change their iconic "Cash Only Bitches" sign.  Next trend: the dangers of running a tab.


11.  Cocktails in a Bottle

Ready-made might not be the realm of only Kahlua for long. The rash of craft cocktails at bars has created the demand for them at home, and the early buzz around Old New Orleans Rum’s Gingeroo proves that producers can pull off a quality product for the masses. Purists are likely to skeptical. But in a town where to-go rules, having a bottle on-hand is never a bad thing.


12.  Donner-Peltier Distillery 

Out in Thibodaux, the Donner-Peltier distillery quietly opened up shop toward the end of the year, and they head into 2013 raring to go. A pair of products – Rougaroux rum and Oryza rice vodka (made with Louisiana rice!) – are now on the market, and the distillery is set to open for tours. Along with Atelier Vie, new laws appear to be creating a new market for local booze around the state. The demand, as we know, has never been the issue.


13. Drink and Drive?

Take a Ride in the BATmobile – NOPD is after drunk drivers with DUI arrests up 39%. Cop presence is visibly beefed up on St. Claude. We may be learning from our more responsible stepsister, Baton Rouge. Checkpoints aren't their only tactic; Superintendent Ronal Serpas has revealed the $350,000 vehicle that facilitates on-site testing, "a mobile breath alcohol testing unit." Beware, don't go running toward the next party bus you see; it may just end your night.


New Year Roundup: NOPD Talks Murder Rates, DUI’s, Firearms

As you scramble to make last minute party plans, the NOPD sends a friendly reminder to merrymakers to stay safe this New Year’s Eve. Anyone with a tendency to get trigger-happy at the stroke of midnight should consider substituting a noisemaker for a gun, and drivers should take a cab home if they’ve imbibed, according to Chief Superintendent Ronal Serpas.


Serpas asked people to practice, “common sense, safety and courtesy,” as they fill the streets and bars in celebration. The NOPD will have 500 officers, including ten state troopers, in the downtown, French Quarter, Tremé, and Marigny neighborhoods.


Serpas reminded revelers that no matter how appropriate it may seem, it is illegal to shoot firearms into the air in celebration. The Chief reminded citizens of the tragic death of Amy Silverman, a woman who was killed in New Orleans 18 years ago by a falling bullet. Charges for firing a weapon illegally amount to a $1000 fine, and a possible two to 20 years in prison.


Anyone bringing their car to the festivities should stay sober or take a cab home, Serpas advised. The police will be “out in force looking for drunk drivers,” said the Chief. First offenses for DUI convictions amount to between $300 and $1000 in fines, plus at least ten days and up to six months in jail.


Serpas wrapped up the year with some facts about crime trends in the past year. In 2011, 199 people were murdered in New Orleans, compared to 191 in 2012. Serpas predicts the downward trend will continue, citing Mayor Mitch’s NOLA For Life campaign as a vital component in crime reduction.


“NOLA For Life will make those differences,” said Serpas, adding that young men with limited education are overrepresented in the criminal justice system.


Serpas also noted that out of all people arrested for murder, 50 percent already have been convicted for illegal possession of firearms. Out of those murdered, 1/3 have similar records. According to Serpas, 9/10 of people who are murdered are not employed.

Missing Teen, 16, Sought

New Orleans police are asking for the public's help in locating a missing teenager. Mickell Brieana Montgomery, 16, was last seen Thursday, Dec. 27, at her father's residence in the 1600 block of Caton St. in Gentilly.


According to Montgomery's mother, this is the first time the teen has gone missing, and the family is becoming increasingly concerned.


Montgomery is described as an African American female, 5 ft. 1 in. tall, weighing approximately 125 pounds. She was last seen wearing a navy blue jacket, grey jogging pants and brown boots. She has several stars tattooed on her right wrist. 


Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mickell Brieana Montgomery is asked to call the New Orleans Police Department at 821-2222. 

Gulf Shrimpers Look to Battle Foreign Exports Head-On

Gulf shrimpers are sounding the call of duty to combat foreign imports. Subsidies and price undercutting on the world market is leaving other countries with an unfair advantage when it comes to America's fast growing craving for crusteaceans, according to a petition filed by a newly-formed Gulf shrimpers' group.


The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries wants seven countries to pay additional export costs on the shrimp they send to the United States, in order to steady the waters for trawlers at home. The Coalition filed petitions with the U.S. government last week seeking the new costs – known as countervailing duties.



China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, currently have an unfair trade advantage with the U.S., the Coalition argues. The governments of those countries grant billion of dollars in subsidies to their shrimp industries. A Chinese government-backed endeavor to build the world's largest shrimp processing and export platform. In India, the government provides help with the shrimp exporters' ocean freight costs, with specific help going to the U.S.



The government aid allows the shrimp exporters to undercut the prices of shrimp caught in the Gulf and other parts of the USA. New export duties on these countries would help Gulf shrimp compete on the open market, the Coalition argues. Countervailing duties are designed to specifically offset foreign government subsidies. The law grants domestic industries the right to file for their assessment.



The Biloxi-based Coalition was formed to file and support the petitions, and includes members from six states, including Louisiana. The petitions will be handled by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. If the claims are found to have merit, those bodies could assess the duties to the foreign countries, but a decision is not expected until the second half of 2013.

Sugar Bowl Parade Steps Off on New Year’s Day

Whether you're still awake or just rolling out of bed, New Year's Day has more than a few football games in store. The Sugar Bowl isn't until Jan. 2, but the parade steps off on the first. The St. Aug Marching 100 is set to lead the French Quarter second line, full of fans from Louisville and Florida, through the streets of the Quarter to welcome the BCS showdown.


The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at Pat O'Brien's (718 St. Peter), and will feature floats, horse-drawn carriages, and, of course, cheerleaders. The whole thing winds its way to Arnaud's Restaurant by midday. Route pictured.

Deadly Motorcycle Crash in New Orleans East

A 42-year-old man died Sunday night in a motorcycle crash in New Orleans East, according to police. About 8 p.m., the man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his family, was riding lake bound on Downman Road. In the 7900 block of Downman, he entered the left lane, then rear-ended an SUV which was preparing to make a turn. 


The motorcyclist then lost control of the bike, and struck a fire hydrant. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, police said.


NOLA New Years Eve 12.31.12

Before you start making your new year’s resolutions, drink up and enjoy all of the best music the city has to offer. From Oak to St. Claude, take the party to the streets and dance with Rebirth, Papa Grows Funk, the Soul Rebels, and more. A young Louis Armstrong was arrested on January 1, 1912, for firing a celebratory shot from a pistol into the air at the corner of Perdido and Rampart. Now, it’s time to figure out how you’ll spend the first hours of 2013.


Soul Rebels with Mississippi Rail Company (d.b.a., 10pm)


Usher in the New Year with some hip hop, pop, funk, and of course, brass. Once the Soul Rebels finish their set, enjoy some folky rock and Delta bluegrass from MRC. Tickets are $30.


Zoo Years Eve (Audubon Zoo, 10:30am)


Bring the whole family to a daytime NYE celebration! Count down to 12 PM and see local performers, games, and prizes. There will be juggling from Carl Mack, a jump rope exhibition from the Slidell Skippers, noise makers, and more! The party is free with general admission.


Rebirth + Papa Grows Funk (Howlin’ Wolf, 10pm)


You can’t go wrong with funk, brass, and an open bar until 2am. PGF is skipping out on their regular Monday night gig at the Maple Leaf to party on Tchoupitoulas. Don’t miss two of New Orleans’ favorite regular acts, admission is $80 for music and unlimited drinks.


Tab Benoit plus Jonathan "Boogie" Long (Rock n’ Bowl, 8:30pm)


Benoit is bringing his Delta blues to the lanes in Mid City, and he’s bringing monster guitarist and blues artist Jonathan “Boogie” Long. Tickets are $25 at the door, $27 online.


Hot 8 Brass Band (Maple Leaf, 10pm)


Papa Grows Funk and the Hot 8 are swapping neighborhoods for this Monday night, NYE celebration. Enjoy hip hop, blues, funk, and more from one of New Orleans’ most beloved brass bands.



Debauche with the Salt Wives (Allways Lounge, 10pm)


Come out and see some punk rock Russian hooligan music from Debauche, plus the Salt Wives! In between, catch bellydancing from Kerry Lynn, Burlesque from Thelady Lucerne, and more!


NYE Fleur-de-Lis Drop and Fireworks (Jax Brewery, 9pm)


The official Fleur-de-lis drop is happening tonight on Decatur. Come out and see it from the street, or go into Jax and enjoy acro-contortionists, aerial artists, and a balcony spot in the City to see fireworks on the Mississippi. Tickets are $110 and include an open bar and complimentary food.


Enjoy fireworks on the street in Jackson Square, the hub of downtown New Year’s activity. Every year, people gather at Algiers Point for a beautiful view of the explosive display.



Galactic + MyNameisJohnMichael (Tipitina’s, 9pm)


They’ve been touring the country, but they’re spending their New Years in their hometown. Head to Tchoup and Napoleon for one of the funkiest shows in town, plus a performance from MyNameisJohnMichael. Tickets are $71, admission is 18 and over.


Leftover Crack, Juicy Karkass, and More (Siberia, 9pm)


For just $15, enjoy your first punk show of 2013 with Leftover Crack, Juicy Karkass, Crackbox, Mea Culpa, Vapo Rats, and more. Get yourself some Slavic soul food and ring in the new year on St. Claude.


New Year's Eve at the Hotel Modern (Hotel Modern, 8pm)


The Fashion Council’s Nick Landry hosts this NYE celebration, complete with flowing cocktails, entertainment from Penguin Prison, and a cozy, intimate setting. Find tickets online for $120, $380 for a package of four.


Huey Lewis and the News (Allstate Fan Fest, 12pm-8pm)


Football fans and families can get started early at the Fan Fest, in the heart of Jackson Square. See Huey Lewis and the News at 6:15pm, enjoy pep rallies, football themed activities, and more.


New Year's Eve Bash on Bourbon (Bourbon Vieux, 8pm-1am)


For $160, get a balcony view of bourbon, a gourmet buffet, open bar, and a midnight champagne toast. Space is limited, so book while you can!


NYE Bourbon Pub (The Bourbon Pub Parade, 9pm)


The Pub promises to be even crazier than usual this New Years Eve, so come ready to party. Ultimate guest host “Flava” is in from Los Angeles, cash at the door. Ticket price is not specificed.



New Year's Eve Heaven and Hell Masquerade Ball (The Saint Hotel, Burgundy Bar)


Get your personalized party pass for two drink tickets, passed hor d’oeuvres from Chef Marcus at Tempt Restaurant, and a balloon drop with a midnight toast. Ticket price and time are not specified, call 875-2606 or 522-5400 for tickets.



Gregg Allman + Royal Southern Brotherhood (House of Blues, 9:30pm)


Enjoy some classic southern rock tonight at HOB. Tickets are $125, $225 for balcony seats. Show is 21 and over.





Honey Island Swamp Band+The Wild Magnolias & Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

Blue Nile (10:00PM)

See HISB in 2012, Toubab Krewe in 2013 at 1:30am!


The Unnaturals+The Bills & Thee Holy Ghosts

Checkpoint Charlie’s (10:00PM)

NYE Punk Show on Esplanade


Mary Flynn and the Prohibition Jazz Blues

Country Club (8:00PM)

Blues in the Bywater, welcome in the New Year in a heated pool!


Soul Rebels + Mississippi Rail Company

d.b.a. (10:00PM)

Welcome in the New Year with brass, funk, and New Orleans bluegrass


Gregg Allman + Royal Southern Brotherhood

House of Blues (9:30PM)

Southern rock at HOB


Rebirth Brass Band+Papa Grows Funk

Howlin’ Wolf (10:00PM)

Two of New Orleans’ favorite bands on stage to usher in the new year!



The Maison (11:00PM)

Lagniappe Brass Band at 1am!


Tab Benoit+Jonathon "Boogie" Long

Rock n’ Bowl (8:30PM)

Spend your New Year’s Eve with Delta Blues in Mid City


Hot 8 Brass Band

Maple Leaf (10:00PM)

Hip hop, pop, blues, funk, and of course, lots of brass!


Creole Christmas Concert

Preservation Hall (2:00PM, 4:00PM)

St. Peter Street All-Stars feat. Lars Edegran, Big Al Carson


Leftover Crack, Juicy Karkass, and more

Siberia (9:00PM)

Welcome in the new year with Crackbox, Vapo Rats, Mea Culpa and more



Tipitina’s (10:00PM)

Celebrate 2013 with some of NOLA’s best local acts



Pocket Aces Brass Band

Vaso (1:00AM)

Dance into the New Year on Frenchmen



Romantic NYE with Debauche

Allways Lounge (10:00PM)

Plus Salt Wives and bellydancing with Kerry Lynn

LSU, Clemson Countdown to Chick-Fil-A Bowl

by Chris Rinaldi

The LSU Fighting Tigers will take the field against Clemson on New Years Eve, attempting to close out the year with another Top 10 finish, and possibly Top 5 finish, after a season filled with ups and downs. While the Tigers of LSU may have had the National Championship in their sights in September, a Chick-Fil-A victory would be a fine ending to a season which saw the Bayou Bengals decimated by injuries and forced to lean on freshmen and sophomores, who came of age to lead the team this far.



Clemson finds itself in a similar situation to LSU, as they hope a victory will lead them to a Top 10 finish. Clemson, also 10-2, will look to avoid another embarassment like last year's 70-33 defeat in the Orange Bowl to West Virginia. They also have the opportunity to re-gauge the ACC's level of competition in comparison to the SEC, which defeated four ACC teams in the final week of the season, including a Clemson loss to South Carolina. 






The two teams' paths to ten wins could not have been farther apart. Clemson runs on the strength of their offense, led by quarterback Tajh Boyd, and their arsenal of wide receivers, including Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, and Charone Peake. 



LSU's offense came on late in the year, led by the maturing of Zach Mettenberger, but the team was carried by their defense.  However, while the LSU defense was one of the best in the nation for the first three-quarters of the year, they showed glaring weaknesses in their secondary in games against Ole Miss and Mississippi State, in addition to times against Arkansas. In the latter two games mentioned, turnovers were necessary to secure the defensive results that often came through overall dominance earlier in the season. 



LSU will be without punter Brad Wing, who is rumored to have failed a drug test earlier in December, leaving them without the great field position advantage Wing often creates. Therefore, the Tigers defense cannot getaway with mistakes and lapses against Clemson's offense. 



The key to the game will be how Zach Mettenberger is able to move the ball against Clemson's weaker non-SEC defense. Mettenberger is making his homecoming, and the Georgia native looked like the quarterback he was expected to be at the beginning of the year ever since shining in the Tigers' close loss to Alabama in November. Any exploitation of LSU's passing defense may be become inconsequential if LSU's offense can score points in the air, supplemented by the running attack which was strong throughout the season.



This battle of the Tigers on New Years' Eve in Atlanta will hold some fireworks. It will likely come down to which quarterback can create the big score, but more importantly, avoid mistakes.  A win for LSU will run into next year, where, once again, a National Championship will be on many minds in Baton Rouge. 

Mid-City Area Sees Second Robbery in 3 Days

A Saturday hold-up at a Mid-City convenience store became the second robbery on a stretch of Bienville St. between Gayoso and Jeff Davis in as many days, according to New Orleans police. The two incidents could be related, police said. About 9:15 a.m. Saturday, a man entered the convenience store, located in the 3000 block of Bienville.


The man pulled a gun, leapt across the counter and demanded money from the store's owner. The owner refused to hand over the loot, and a struggle ensued. During the fight, the robber hit the the owner several times in the end. He managed to get the money in the end, and made off with about $500 cash, according to police. The owner sustained moderate injuries, and was released from the hospital Saturday.



The perp (pictured) is described as an African American male in his early 20s, with a thin build. He is approximately 5’8” tall, weighing approximately 150 pounds. A tattoo under his right eye illustrates a pound sign or hash tag (#), according to police. 


Around midday Thursday, a clerk and customer were robbed at gunpoint inside a cell phone store in the 3300 block of Bienville St. Police are investigating whether the two incidents are related, but did not release any conclusions.


Citizens should call Crimestoppers at 821-1111 with information about either of these incidents.