Old Metairie is one of Greater New Orleans’ most vibrant neighborhoods, quietly thriving out of the limelight in a city that prioritizes tourism. Located just outside of Orleans Parish and the tourist-heavy areas of the city, Old Metairie is a place that fosters community by maintaining its family-oriented atmosphere. Metairie Road provides a charming oak-shaded drive through the area and serves as the main lifeline of the neighborhood, lined with the businesses and boutiques that supply residents with not only goods and services, but friendship and fellowship as well. A look in to the various shops offers a glimpse into the lifestyle and atmosphere of this fashionable family destination.
Boudreaux’s Jewelers is a stalwart of the neighborhood, arriving in 1985 from its original location on the first block of Baronne Street. During the 1980s, as downtown business gradually moved from the Canal Street corridor deeper into the CBD, Boudreaux’s eyed a change, choosing to serve its clientele from a more convenient location as one of the first retail tenants of the Old Metairie Village shopping center.
“Getting into the Metairie Club Gardens area with a fine retail space was key. My grandfather lived out here at the time, and we found that there was a need in the Old Metairie market here,” says Brandon Boudreaux, Lead Designer and fourth generation of Boudreaux family jewelers. During this time of year, Boudreaux’s is excited to be introducing the 2019 line of Omega watches while also bringing in a new line of fine designer jewelry, Jude Frances.
Another longtime occupant, with roots in New Orleans that go back 35 years, Elizabeth’s opened its Metairie Road boutique 15 years ago.
“During the past 15 years, this area has flourished, and part of its vibrancy, I think, is the sense of boutique shopping, the destination where you come when you want to find that special outfit,” says Sal Trentacoste, Owner and Buyer. A women’s clothing boutique, Elizabeth’s caters to the woman who travels but wants the latest fashions right in their neighborhood, according to Trentacoste. This month, fall fashions are arriving.
“Old Metairie is a neighborhood that values and supports small businesses and entrepreneurs. Part of the charm of the shops in this area is that they are specialized like Elizabeth’s,” he says. You won’t find many big box stores in Old Metairie, a testament to the customer service offered by its specialized, local stores.
The Linen Registry has been in Old Metairie since 1997, and while it has always been a major thoroughfare, Owner Lee McKee says Metairie Road became a specialty shopping destination following Hurricane Katrina.
“I grew up in Old Metairie, and when I moved back to New Orleans, I moved back to where I felt most at home,” says McKee, who specializes in high-end linens for bed, bath and table while also offering gifts, lingerie and a bridal registry. A safe and central location was important to McKee, who also notes that parking is less of a challenge in this area versus New Orleans’ Uptown or French Quarter neighborhoods.
In late summer and fall, The Linen Registry is popular for back-to-school bedding, custom table linens and specialty gifts for the holiday and debut seasons.
FeBe is a shop that has grown with the neighborhood, initially opening along Metairie Road in 2003 before quickly outgrowing its space and moving to its current location in 2005. Offering over 4,000 square feet of designer clothing and shoes, FeBe receives new merchandise every day.
“Over the years, more and more shops and restaurants have opened, making Metairie Road its own shopping destination. We have been fortunate to be able to continue to grow each year as more people discover this area while still getting to see our loyal customers that have been with us since the beginning,” says Effie Boihem, Co-Owner. This month, shoppers can look forward to trunk shows for Sennod Jewelry Design, Finley and Cordani Shoes.
The growing nature of Old Metairie retail is what drew Lilly & Co. to the area. Offering casual every day clothing, gifts, shoes and salon services, Lilly & Co. boutique and salon is enjoying being one of Metairie Road’s newest additions in just its first 10 months. The store welcomes shoppers this month for an early Labor Day summer sale (August 23-25) as they bring in new items for fall. The boutique also carries Supergoop! sunscreen, which continues to be necessary throughout late summer and fall here in the Gulf South.
Shopping along Metairie road isn’t exclusively for the adults – a family-friendly shopping destination means clothes for the kids, too, which is the focus at Bon Temps Boutique. Featuring locally designed children’s clothing inspired by Southern culture and tradition, Bon Temps Boutique offers play wear from infant to tweens that is all locally screened.
“We are the new kids on the block. After three years of pop ups, markets, and festivals, Bon Temps made its permanent home on Metairie Road,” says Laura McPhail, Owner and Designer. “The neighborhood and clientele have welcomed us warmly. We think it’s the perfect place for our loyal customer base and new shoppers, too.
McPhail characterizes Bon Temps Boutique’s newest addition to the line as dressier but still fun and practical. The shop is currently gearing up with back-to-school offerings in addition to Saints and LSU collections.
Along with Lilly & Co., Wildflower is a new addition to the end of Metairie Road closer to Causeway Boulevard. Wildflower recently opened their location in October 2017.
“This end of Metairie Road is really blossoming, which is incredibly exciting for our business as well as all the other new businesses in the area. There’s a definite buzz on this end with all the new stores, restaurants, salons, and fitness studios opening up,” says Owner Danielle Conrad.
According to Conrad, Wildflower carries trendy clothing, shoes and accessories for women ages 16 to 60. The store is popular for its large jewelry selection, which includes Bauble Bar and Kendra Scott.
“My experience on Metairie Road has been even better than I expected,” says Conrad. “The people in this area truly want to see you succeed, which is very inspiring.”
Another new addition to this end of Metairie Road is She, which aims to bring a little California, boho style down to the Big Easy. Featuring free-spirited, edgy styles, She brings a different yet welcomed vibe to the neighborhood.
According to Owner Ashley Corchiani, She’s fashions range from dressy to casual in all sizes, as well as accessories, shoes, hats and home and beauty products.
“All of the new businesses going up on this side of the road are so exciting. We’re beyond grateful to share a strip with Shipley Donuts and enjoy the sweet smells every single morning. We’re also super excited to be located next door to the new Main Squeeze Juice Bar,” says Corchiani.
Beth Harris, Owner of Relish, has worked along Metairie Road for years, first with Garden Gate home and garden and now with her own store on the other end of the neighborhood. A “lifestyle store,” Relish features unique items Harris selects on trips to Europe, from fashion and jewelry to home goods such as bedding and scented ceramics. With customers of all ages, the store caters to anyone looking for something they don’t see everywhere else.
“Metairie road has become like a little Magazine Street with the amount of stores that have opened. And not just clothing, but more new restaurants, too – you don’t have to leave Metairie now. Where I’m located along Metairie Road is like the heartbeat of the area,” says Harris.
While most of the aforementioned establishments are product-centered, Metairie road is of course also full of service providers. BLEU, a Blowdry Bar serves as a blowout-focused hair salon that also offers dry styles, updos, makeup applications, hair extensions, Keratin Express Treatments and on location services for brides. BLEU turns five in September and is gearing up this month with specials, giveaways and the promise of big news.
A few years go, the blow-dry bar concept was still new to the area, and Owner and Proprietor Emily LaBorde knew her location had to be locally embraced to succeed.
“I am so glad I chose Metairie Road to establish my brand. We seriously have the best clients ever – they are like family,” says LaBorde. She also enjoys the fact that mostly small businesses populate the area and that many are woman-owned.
Optical Shoppe is another example, and the locally owned designer eyewear and sunglasses boutique is nearing its second anniversary on Metairie Road, though its Baton Rouge location has been in business for 35 years. Area residents and customers welcome the shop, especially as the end of summer arrives.
“The end of summer brings in customers that need glasses before they head back to college and many sunglass customers that are ready for a new pair of shades,” says Sondra Berger, Owner. This month, the shop will offer a 20 percent discount on designer frames with the purchase of prescription lenses.
Planning a party? Metairie Road has you covered there as well, where Z Event Planning offers full service event planning, design and production services. Z Event Planning specializes in celebrations of all kinds, including corporate events and weddings. Milestone birthdays have been a big focus this year. The company also produces nonprofit galas and events designed to help market and brand local and national companies.
“Since we have opened our office and showroom space, we’ve seen a lot of changes on Metairie Road. There are wonderful new places to eat, beautify and shop all around us,” says Susan Zackin, Owner and Lead Designer. This month, party planners and shoppers can look forward to pop-up events showcasing various vendors in the Z Event Planning showroom.
When you take an adventure down Metairie Road, visit with the shop owners and find out their favorite Metairie Road gems. Between the boutiques, restaurants, cafes and salons, you’ll find an extensive world for shopping and sharing a bite with friends and family.
BLEU, a Blowdry Bar701 Metairie Road, Suite 112-2A, Metairie
Bon Temps Boutique603 1/2 Metairie Road, Metairie
Boudreaux’s Jewelers701 Metairie Road, Metairie
Elizabeth’s204 Metairie Road, Metairie
FeBe474 Metairie Road, Suite 102, Metairie
Lilly & Co.2513 Metairie Road, Suite 100, Metairie
The Linen Registry200 Metairie Road, Suite 102, Metairie
Optical Shoppe800 Metairie Road, Suite Q, Metairie
Relish600 Metairie Road, Suite B, Metairie
She2561 Metairie Road Suite 2, Metairie
Wildflower2700 Metairie Road, Suite C, Metairie
Z Event Planning508 Metairie Road, Metairie