Connecting to the Crescent City
A New Orleans staycation celebrating black-owned businesses
Slowly but surely, New Orleans is starting to reopen. Restaurants and businesses grasp for a sense of normalcy. More people are beginning to travel again. While it may be nice to get out of the house, we propose keeping travels to the city we call home. (Note: if you’re willing to travel to New Orleans right now, we welcome you all the same.)
In addition to navigating the coronavirus road ahead, we are in the middle of an extremely important time in our country as protests and civil unrest are at the forefront of many conversations and people’s minds.
With that in mind, the blog today features a handful of suggestions for quick jaunts through the city, while highlighting black-owned businesses that should be on your radar. Given the notable cultural contributions of the black community in New Orleans, many center around food and revelry. (For foodies who want a more extensive list of black-owned restaurants, click here.)
Because everything in New Orleans begins with food, we wanted to start our hypothetical day out with lunch at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant. Dooky Chase is a New Orleans staple and was a hotspot for civil rights leaders and the discussion of economic rights in the black community. Owner Edgar Dooky Chase, Jr. married Leah Lange Chase and the latter became New Orleans royalty. The regular Dooky Chase menu sports favorites like the fried chicken and stuffed shrimp. Right now, the restaurant offers a takeout menu that can be found on its Facebook page.
We suggest getting your takeout from Dooky Chase’s and heading to City Park in Mid-City. The park is open and lunch in the Sculpture Garden or amid the ponds or meadows sounds like a winning combination.
Once your stomach is full, plan to visit Victory Bar and Drink Lab NOLA on Baronne Street in the Central Business District. Mixologist Daniel Victory is at the healm of Victory Bar, which just began a limited opening on June 4. (Disclosure: Daniel Victory is a paid contributor to myneworleans.com.) Drink Lab is an interactive cocktail experience where Victory teaches willing students the art of the cocktail.
Though you could squeeze it all into one day, we suggest taking the night to recover and start again the following day.
Over the past couple of decades or so, local New Orleans artist Terrance Osborne has truly brought New Orleans to life through his art. His Terrance Osborne Gallery on Magazine Street features Osborne’s Jazz Fest posters, and for kids of all ages, a coloring book filled this some of his best works.
If Magazine Street isn’t your idea of fun, 2nd Line Tours has tours for you to get the full New Orleans experience. Hop on a Celebrity Tour and see the birthplaces of legendary jazz, hip hop and bounce artists throughout the city.
Once your day is done, Chef Nina Compton’s Bywater American Bistro has a dinner menu that is sure to wrap up your short staycation in the best way. The menu includes house-made pastas, cheese plates and sweets from the award-winning chef and her team.