This is better than a regular, old run-in with the Department of Health: Upper Ninth Ward hotspot, Bacchanal, was closed abruptly this past Friday night for a combination of health code violations and operating without the proper permits. Turns out the wine shop-outdoor eatery-music venue had a permit that identified it as a grocery. Which is technically kind of true, because you can buy cheese and wine there, but obviously that's not quite enough to allow the place to also cook and serve food, pour glasses of wine, and feature live music.
Even with the proper occupational license, the wine shop can't do music or food until it gets permits for those as well. According to a statement on Bacchanal's Twitter account, posted Monday, "No chef, no band, but we are open. We rockin the instrumental soul station on Pandora. Cheese crackers & wine!"
After Katrina, Bacchanal featured food prepared by guest chefs, before linking up with Chef Joaquin Rodas to offer food nightly. In the fictional universe of HBO's Treme, chef Janette Desautel briefly toiled at Bacchanal's outdoor kitchen, where she had a dramatic encounter with the rain.
Bacchanal's bust was spurred by a complaint, though whether that complaint was made by a neighbor or a customer remains unclear. The food service, which had already been upgraded from informal outdoor kitchen to food truck, will have to get upgraded to "fully-compliant" food truck before it can resume. Said the owner, Chris Rudge: "I'm trying to make this place 100% permitted. It wasn’t before, but I didn’t realize we were wrong."
· Bacchanal in Bywater Shut Down by the City, Partially Reopens With Proper License [TP]
· Bacchanal Wine [Official Site]