A new bar serving pizza, booze and a healthy slice of the local art scene now is open on N. Rampart Street.
Owners Noah Antieau and Nic Reddy opened 10 Foot Pizza (740 N. Rampart St.), a bar, art gallery and pizza parlor hybrid on the corner of Rampart and St. Ann streets late last month, taking over the spot formerly occupied by hot dog hawkers Dreamy Weenies.
The approach is a novel one for New Orleans. While the sliced pizza and drinks concept has a West Coast feel to it, part of the spot’s raison d’être is as an extension of the duo’s other business, the royal street art parlor Red Truck Gallery.
To say the bar’s aesthetic is stunning is an understatement: The entire space is the result of a labor of love from a group of Red Truck Gallery affiliates, including artists Mike Shine, Lauren Napolitano, Gabriel Shaffer, and Scott Hove, but also of friends, owners and staffers of the gallery.
A makeshift magnolia tree made with branches imported from Mississippi sprouts up from the center of the space, where 500 hand-painted magnolia petals unfold, the blossoms suspended in midair above the bar (it’s also a clear reference to the group’s unofficial name for the bar, the Red Truck Tree house).
The bar’s exposed brick walls are covered in artwork and colorful murals, including dreamy large-scale paintings by Bay Area artist Lauren YS. Barstools and trim around the bar include intricate line designs and paintings by artist Lauren Napolitano. The gallery’s Rachael Cronin gutted and rebuilt the bathroom, using wooden planks from local reclaimed wood supplier The Green Project. The glittery entryway to the bathroom unfolds to reveal a room covered in bright green Astroturf and fake flowers.
Though the owners clearly hold a strong foothold in the art works, pizza isn’t a foreign concept, either. Antieau and Reddy ran the Oregon restaurant Lonesome Pizza, which closed last year after a seven-year run.
The pizza closely resembles New York-style slices, albeit with a slightly thicker, crispy crust. Local chef Vladimir Costa (formerly the executive chef at Lula Distillery on St Charles Avenue) consulted on the menu, which includes versions ranging from pepperoni to plain cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan, Pecorino and marinara), Hawaiian (mozzarella, marinara, spam, pineapple, sriracha, peppers, green and red onions), Elote (mozzarella, roasted corn crema, mushrooms, peppers, lime zest and green onions), and buffalo chicken (mozzarella, Alfredo sauce, buffalo chicken, pork jowl, gorgonzola, jalapeños, tomatoes, ranch and green onions).
The restaurant also plans on adding a number of vegan pie options using products from Nashville’s Be-Hive (a current version named the Hail Seitan features vegan cheese, marinara, wild mushrooms, spinach and peppers). Future dishes will include a daily selection of salads, soups and sandwiches, as well.
Costa says a specialty cocktail menu is currently in the works, and in the meantime, the space features a full bar.
10 Foot Pizza opens daily at 12 p.m. and will stay open on weekdays till 2 a.m. and till 4 a.m. on the weekends.
The bar is the latest addition to the steadily growing mix of restaurants and bars on the bourgeoning stretch of N. Rampart Street across from Louis Armstrong Park. Though still new, the place already has a familiar feel to it, with employees from the neighboring bars and restaurants and residents from the neighborhood popping in regularly, cozying up to the bar while chatting up new and old friends.
It’s a space that feels different and new, and yet distinctly of this moment in New Orleans.