Morning Call Coffee Stand and Bud’s Broiler, two storied names in local food, may soon each make their return to New Orleans in a new multi-use building proposed for the corner of Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue.
Morning Call, famous for beignets and café au lait, has been homeless since February after losing its City Park location.
Bud’s Broiler, known for charbroiled burgers with hickory sauce and its scrappy, everyman appeal, got its start in a building a few blocks down City Park Avenue that closed in December amid a legal dispute.
Now the owners of each brand are negotiating with Paul Dorsey Jr. and Paul Dorsey III to open new locations side by side in a development the father-and-son team have proposed for 5101 Canal Blvd. That property, surrounded by cemeteries, has long been used as a parking lot.
“Morning Call and Bud’s Broiler? It doesn’t get more New Orleans than that,” said Paul Dorsey Jr. “It should be a good addition to the neighborhood.”
He said lease negotiations with both restaurants were close to being completed. Both would have indoor and outdoor seating and would be able to operate 24/7.
The Dorseys are proposing a multiple-use building, with eight apartments on the second floor and two restaurant spaces on the ground floor. Covering about 20,000 square feet total, the development requires a conditional-use permit from the city, which the owners are now seeking.
Pending approvals, the Dorseys believe the new building and the restaurants could be open by mid-2020.
A neighborhood meeting on the development is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the neighboring bar Cask, 5123 Canal Blvd.
News of Bud’s Broiler's plans to open on Canal Boulevard was first reported by NOLA.com.
In April, Morning Call co-owner Bob Hennessey told The Advocate he was eyeing a location in the Mid-City area to stage a return of his family’s historic beignet café. He did not identify the location at the time, citing negotiations.
On Monday, he said he was excited about the prospect of returning to the area.
“The beauty of that location is we get all the local families and we can get tourists too at the end of the streetcar line,” he said. “It’s a great location.”
Morning Call Coffee Stand has been homeless for more than two months now, after losing its former City Park location to longtime competitor Ca…
Morning Call’s roots go back to the French Quarter in the 19th century, and later it operated for decades in Metairie. In 2012, it added a location in City Park. In 2018, however, Morning Call closed the Metairie location and later that year lost a public bidding battle for the City Park site to longtime rival Café du Monde.
That company is now conducting renovations to open a new Café du Monde in the park’s Casino Building. It is slated to open in early summer. In the meantime, Cafe du Monde is operating a food truck at the park, serving coffee and beignets.
The first Bud’s Broiler opened in 1952 at 500 City Park Ave., just down the street from the proposed new location. This odd, angular little building trimmed in neon became a magnet for several generations for family outings, workday lunches and late-night burger runs. It was the last Bud's location in Orleans Parish, though there are still six others scattered around the metro area.
The original location closed last year amid a court fight between restaurant parent company Bud’s Broiler Holdings and the franchise operator for this location, Shannon Prince. In December, a Civil District Court judge handed Bud’s Broiler a victory by barring Prince from using the Bud’s Broiler name or operating a competing business.
The oldest location of the New Orleans burger chain Bud's Broiler has shut down amid a court battle playing out between its franchisee and the…
Shortly after closing, Prince leased the property to New Orleans rapper Curren$y, who announced plans to open his own eatery called Life Burger at the former Bud’s Broiler location. The property remains dormant, but plans for Life Burger are still underway, a representative for Curren$y said.
Renderings submitted to the city for the 5101 Canal Blvd. proposal show a building fronting both City Park Avenue and Canal Boulevard, with off-street parking and patio seating along Canal Boulevard.
Paul Dorsey III said the exterior design was inspired by the French Market, home to the original Morning Call.
Hennessey said that in addition to Canal Boulevard, he is looking into new Morning Call locations in Metairie and in Hammond.
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