Julia in July
Eight stops along the street
While some cities have only a couple famous streets or hot-spot neighborhoods, New Orleans is rich with eclectic areas that offer their own unique attractions, shops, restaurants and vibe. Located in the Warehouse District, Julia Street is one of the many famous neighborhoods within a neighborhood that draws visitors year-round, while also experiencing a growth in residents. This summer, we’re highlighting a number of Julia Street businesses that help give the area its character and charm.
Julia Street has long been known as a destination for art, with a number of galleries that dot its blocks. Artist, activist and entrepreneur Jonathan Ferrara founded the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in 1998 with a focus on forward-thinking artists with a sense of purpose, mission and message. It features monthly exhibitions of national and international, emerging to established, contemporary artists.
Running through July 22 is Sidonie Villere’s exhibition, “Interrupted,” which is comprised of new mixed media painting and sculpture. Villere is a New Orleans native whose work has been exhibited across the United States and is in the permanent collections of several museums including The New Orleans Museum of Art and The Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Following Villere’s exhibition, the gallery will gear up for White Linen Night, “the pinnacle of our summer season,” says Gallery Director and Partner Matthew Weldon Showman. “We will be unveiling the first solo exhibition of conceptual activist artist Ti-Rock Moore,” he says. On Saturday, August 5, the gallery will share three, one-night-only pieces: one on the street, one ephemeral and one a performance in the gallery.
In 2005, just one month before Hurricane Katrina, Steven and Borislava Callan opened Callan Contemporary in an award-winning gallery space designed by local architect Lee Ledbetter. Since then, the gallery has specialized in contemporary paintings and sculpture by emerging, mid-career and internationally recognized artists.
“One of the primary focuses of our gallery is to gain exposure for our artists by introducing their work to collectors and museums through our participation in international art fairs. We also work closely with museums that have exhibitions of our artist’s work,” says Steven Callan.
Throughout July, Sibylle Peretti will exhibit a new body of work entitled “It Was Such a Beautiful Promise.” According to Peretti, her work “explores the lack of harmony between human beings and nature and our inability to become one with the natural world.” Peretti’s exhibition will be followed by Doyle Gertjejansen for White Linen Night, Basque painter José-Maria Cundin for Art for Art’s Sake and sculpture by David Borgerding for November and December.
Julia Street isn’t just for adults, and as home to the Louisiana Children’s Museum, it offers family-friendly fun all year long.
“At the Louisiana Children’s Museum, children and adults alike can explore 30,000 square feet of engaging exhibits, educational programs, art activities and hands-on fun,” says CEO Julia Bland. During July and August, the museum will be open seven days a week for summer. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Louisiana Children’s Museum
In addition to their daily and weekend programming, the Louisiana Children’s Museum offers a variety of summer camps. Check out “Movin’ and Groovin’” (July 3-7), “Kitchen Chemistry” (July 10-14), “Our Own Backyard” (July 17-21), “The World’s a Stage” and “Meet the Masters, Louisiana-style!” (July 24-28), “Dinosaurs Rock” and “Drawsome!” (July 31-August 4) and “Around the World” (August 7-11).
Wherever you are in New Orleans great food is near, and that’s certainly the case on Julia Street. Newcomer NOSH (New Orleans Social House) recently opened in the previous Tommy’s Cuisine location as a new member of the Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts family. Helmed by Executive Chef Michael Farrell, NOSH is designed to be a social hotspot with live music, sharable plates and craft cocktails and wine.
“It’s a collection of all of my favorite foods, scaled down, so you can try a little of everything,” says Farrell. From small snacks like marinated olives or fingerling potato chips to accompany an after-work cocktail to a wild mushroom flatbread or lobster tacos, the menu offers a diverse selection of tartines, small plates and flatbreads in addition to its seafood bar with salmon and octopus carpaccios, Ahi poke and more.
“We open at 4 p.m. daily, so we invite everyone to stop by right after work for a drink and a snack. When you can’t decide between the bison sliders or the Gulf shrimp spring rolls, don’t worry; you can stop back tomorrow for a second round before heading home,” says Farrell.
A separate neighborhood addition brings downhome Cajun flavors and a casual atmosphere to Julia Street with a new opening right off Convention Center Boulevard. Owners of Fulton Street’s more formal Restaurant Rebirth introduced Galliano Restaurant in December, naming it after chef Ricky Cheramie’s hometown of Galliano, Louisiana.
For lunch, the menu features a number of Cajun specialties in addition to poor boys both traditional and “nouveaux.” At dinner, the poor boys are subbed out for Cajun steaks and house specialties, such as a seafood platter with crab-stuffed Gulf fish, fried Louisiana oysters and New Orleans barbecue shrimp sauce or the pork chop LaPlace, an Andouille-stuffed Two Run Farm pork chop topped with pickled red onion rings and tiger sauce and served with ham hock cornbread dressing and red beans. The Golden Meadows duck wings appetizer is another known hit.
Operating Partner Manny Pineda says guests can expect a number of summertime specials this month in addition to a summer specialty cocktail list.
“This is the perfect place to get a true taste of what Louisiana is about,” says Pineda.
Seafood is the focus at nearby Pêche, which was named by the James Beard Foundation to the Best New Restaurants in America in 2014. Executive Chef Ryan Prewitt was named Best Chef: South the same year.
“Pêche is the result of a desire Donald [Link], Stephen [Stryjewski] and I have to shine a light on the high quality and diversity of Gulf seafood,” says Prewitt, who utilizes a unique open fire cooking method to highlight the Gulf flavors.
“One thing we always feature is whole grilled fish, such as snapper and speckled trout. As we move into the summer, we see a lot of blue crab as well as wahoo and a slightly different variety of fin fish,” he says.
The restaurant can accommodate a variety of appetites and invites visitors in shorts and flip flops to snack at the bar while also welcoming parties seeking a full, wine-paired more formal dining experience.
As the Warehouse District and CBD continue to grow residentially, Julia Street businesses are gradually opening to accommodate the active lifestyles of residents. There are a number of options for those looking to improve their fitness, and on Julia Street you’ll find New Orleans’ only yoga studio that, according to staff, is fully dedicated to Bikram Yoga New Orleans, a hot yoga series that is 90 minutes with 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The yoga studio is kept at about 105 degrees Fahrenheit and at 45 percent humidity.
“Physically, Bikram Yoga stretches, flexes, compresses and cleanses each and every part of your body. You learn breathing control, which is very beneficial for lowering the heart rate. You learn to connect your breath to your body movements, which leads to connection of body, mind and soul,” says team member Juan F. Herrera.
This summer, Bikram Yoga New Orleans plans on offering workshops on topics like alignments and backbends from the studio’s own teachers and possibly from master yogis.
Also focused on fitness is Prime Fitness Rx, a 24-hour gym that offers personal training, group training, nutrition counseling and gym memberships. Prime Fitness Rx uses Strive Fit and Cybex equipment as well as TRX Suspension Trainers. The gym offers full-body circuit and boxing classes with one of their trainers, who they like to think of as coaches and partners in your fitness journey.
This month, Prime Fitness Rx will offer no enrollment fees on membership, according to Owner Sacha Renee Owens, Master CPT and Certified Sports Nutritionist.
“We have a certain energy here at PFRX … it has a great vibe, and out-of-towners, celebs and conventioneers come to us because we offer day, weekly and month-to-month memberships,” says Owens. “We are a very artsy and boutique-style gym, so we fit in perfectly for events like Art Walk and White Linen Night.”
Whether you’re interested in ceramic sculptures, sculpting the body or a meal that’s a work of art, Julia Street’s the street for you.
638 Julia St.
518 Julia St.
200 Julia St.
Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
400A Julia St.
Louisiana Children’s Museum
420 Julia St.
752 Tchoupitoulas St. (at Julia)
800 Magazine St. (at Julia)
Prime Fitness Rx
607 Julia St.