If you’ve been out and about in our city—whether it is the French Quarter, Mid-City, Gentilly, Lakeview, Metairie, Uptown or in St. Bernard Parish—you’ve noticed that many of our restaurants and shops are suffering post-Katrina and Rita. I decided to start a campaign that will be fun for you and your friends—as well as make an economic impact in our community.
I came up with the idea after hearing that Tom and Gerrie Bremermann have been asking another couple to go out to dinner once or twice a week to support area restaurants. Taking it one step further, I thought you could add shops into the mix. My husband Johnny and I started by asking Ben and Augusta Jacobs to go to dinner with us to Broussard’s in the French Quarter. John and Sylvia Laborde asked their friends Connie and Richard Deck to go as well. We shopped at LazyBug and Gentleman’s Quarter before meeting everyone at the restaurant. There was a fabulous piano player at the bar, and the Preusses—Marc, chef Gunther and Evelyn—made certain we had a superb meal.
Renaissance Publishing (owner of this magazine) is starting its own campaign by offering a free, one-year subscription to one its publications (in addition to Avenue, there is New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, and Louisiana Life) when you fax in a receipt of $50 or more from dinner at a local restaurant. (Call 828-1380 for more information.)
So how can you help? It can be as little as buying a coffee in the a.m. or as grand as a four-course meal. Shopping for groceries—don’t forget to buy local seafood and produce—or shopping for antiques. No matter how much, you are helping the city rebuild.
Now let’s see what New Orleanians are doing to help the city’s economy… Ben Jacobs, Dr. Johnny Church, Augusta Jacobs, Bev Church, Sylvia and John Laborde, and Connie and Richard Deck at Broussard’s.

Entertaining with BevDolly Simpson and Connie Jones went shopping along Maple Street—and as you can see, Friend & Co. was their favorite shop. After shopping, they went to eat at Jamila’s Café.

Entertaining with BevSimple and Inexpensive Summer Entertaining Ideas
If you are celebrating a special occasion at a restaurant and want to dress up the table a little bit, here are two easy ideas.

Entertaining with BevCabbages are abundant now, so use the leaves to create a simple arrangement. Start the centerpiece by arranging the leaves. Then put oasis in a small round container, and add 10 white carnations so it looks like a large hydrangea. Place in the middle of the flat leaves. You can also use large flat leaves as placemats. The napkins have lawn-chair napkin rings.

Entertaining with BevBring a colorful vase, then fill it with paper Mexican flowers. Flower “candelabras” holding votive candles and a garland of faux Gerbera daisies also decorate the table at Broussard’s. This idea easily fits in a purse and you won’t spill any water.

Entertaining with BevKelly Rose, Mathilde Currence and Melissa Mary had a girl’s night out at Martinque restaurant on Magazine Street.