“We have nuisance ABO's all over the city. In these nuisance ABO’s there's a potential for violence and of course interference with the quality of life in all of our neighborhoods,” Landrieu said.I'm not entirely certain what a "nuisance bar" actually is. Although some recent articles may give us some hints as to what it is not.
For example, this week, the godfather of modern gentrification, Richard Florida wrote in Atlantic Cities about a study commissioned by Trulia real estate to name the cities with the highest concentration of bars and restaurants. It doesn't surprise most New Orleanians to learn that our city came in first in the bars category. But Florida's elaboration indicates that he probably doesn't understand exactly why that is the case.
Now New Orleans with its vibrant nightlife scene comes in first (as the table below shows). But much of the top ten is dominated by older, industrial Midwest metros. Milwaukee (famous for its breweries) is second, Omaha third, my hometown of Pittsburgh fourth, Toledo fifth, Syracuse sixth, and Buffalo seventh. San Francisco is 8th, followed by the tourist hotspots of Las Vegas and Honolulu rounding out the top ten.It's safe to assume that when Florida refers to New Orleans' "vibrant nightlife" he has in mind the well traveled clubs, bars, and such on Bourbon or Frenchmen Streets. But the sheer numbers necessary to place New Orleans at the top of this list derive from its numerous neighborhood dives and corner bars similar to what you might find in the "older industrial Midwest metros" that also appear in the survey. I don't think any of those places are what Florida has in mind here.
Kolko makes it clear that this is purely a measurement of the number of bars and restaurants, so it does not convey which eating or drinking scenes might be more interesting, creative, or innovative.What the hell is a "creative or innovative drinking scene"? The trendspotters at the New York Times seem to have an idea.
In case you haven't been there before, the Hotel Modern and its selection of pricey craft cocktails is located in the former YMCA building at Lee Circle. For roughly the past 10 years it was the trendy Hotel Le Cirque... until that was no longer trendy enough.STAND in front of the Hotel Modern, on the dusty New Orleans roundabout known as Lee Circle, and your thirst has a choice. Walk into Tamarind, to the right, and you’ll find a selection of contemporary cocktails laced with Asian flavors to complement the restaurant’s French-Vietnamese cuisine. Take a left into Bellocq and you’ll have your pick of cobblers, an ice-laden, fruit-crested breed of cocktail that was all the rage back in the mid-1800s and is this inventive new bar’s calling card.The Modern, which reopened last fall after a renovation, captures a sudden advancement in New Orleans’s cocktail culture in which this always happily bibulous city has added newer, fresher ways to drink, while still holding on to tradition. In the process, the city has become a magnet for bartenders and their fans from around the country, particularly New York.
Anyway, directly across the circle from this happening "innovative scene" we find one of the Mayor's nuisance bars.
Built in the 1800s, the Frankensteined dollhouse on the edge of Lee Circle houses the internationally renowned dive bar and music venue The Circle Bar. Since 1999, it has maintained a near-nightly live music schedule, but this week, the bar has had to pull the plug.It's difficult to see precisely where the dividing line is here but it's pretty plain that establishments who cater primarily to upper class visitors are getting greenlighted while local music venues are being harassed as they have been for some time now. So the message to those of us who are losing our favorite spots in all of this appears to be that we need to learn to drink more "creatively." How about this for a start?
Owner Dave Clements says the bar was denied a permit from City Hall for live entertainment after it submitted its application last month. Employees from the city's Bureau of Revenue (who also asked Siberia to turn the music off last month) asked Clements to produce the bar's mayoralty permit and entertainment license. Clements was subpoenaed and earlier this week was denied for a permit to host live entertainment at the bar. "We'd think we provide a valuable place" to host live music, he says. "Hopefully things will change."