Two new downtown restaurants — one selling healthy dishes such as wraps, salads and smoothies, the other selling a variety of oysters — are opening within the next month.
Derek Fitch, a partner with Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, told Downtown Development District Commissioners on Tuesday that the North Boulevard restaurant will have its grand opening Oct. 24. It’s going in a space across from North Boulevard Town Square that had been occupied by Jobe’s Cafe and Downtown News.
Jolie Pearl will specialize in oysters, with 95 percent of the menu devoted to the tasty bivalves. Fitch said the restaurant will sell more than Gulf oysters. “We’re bringing in oysters from across the U.S.,” he said.
“We have some very unique things going on in the restaurant.”
Doug Seacrest, owner of Spotter’s Fast Fit Food, said he hopes open a location in the LaSalle Parking Garage, next to the downtown YMCA, on Nov. 15. Spotter’s specializes in wraps, salads and smoothies. “We’re a healthy alternative,” Seacrest said.
This will be the fourth Spotter’s location for Seacrest, joining restaurants in Addis, Denham Springs and Hammond. Plans are to have the restaurant open seven days a week and the hours to mirror when the YMCA is open. And in a first for Spotter’s, the downtown restaurant will offer delivery service to nearby residents and businesses.
In other business:
DDD BUDGET: The DDD introduced a 2015 budget that calls for spending $641,150, up from the $632,230 in the current budget, a 1.4 percent increase in spending. Revenue from the 10-mill property tax that provides the biggest source of funding for the organization is expected to increase by 2 percent, from $487,730 to $497,650.
The increase in spending is attributed to a 1.8 percent increase in salaries for the five DDD employees, which will go from $335,170 to $341,330, and more for employee benefits, such as health insurance and retirement contributions. Benefit spending is set to go up 6.7 percent from $139,450 to $148,720.
CREATIVE BLOC: John Jackson, owner of the Creative Bloc, said the 11,000-square-foot collaborative work space will open Nov. 1 at the corner of Main and Eighth streets. The business will offer space for lease to video, film, photography, graphic arts and app development businesses.
The building will offer resources such as fully equipped video and sound production studios, post-production suites and office space. Several tenants will be in the building, including Collin Richie Photography; Catalyst Event Solutions; the local offices of the New Orleans Video Access Center, a nonprofit that trains video and audio professionals; brandskin media, a Web and graphic design firm; Taylor-Made Concepts, an Alexandria company that provides customized training; and Out Da Bayou TV, a local program that focuses on Louisiana outdoor adventures and food.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.