In what is gearing up to be next year's most controversial restaurant drama in New Orleans, the forum feeders at Tiger Droppings are now weighing in on the proposed Habana Outpost, a 400-seat community-oriented Cuban chain restaurant that is planning to take over a vacant lot at Esplanade and Rampart. While the forum universe seems torn both ways about the restaurants move into the Quarter? with some people praising the potential neighborhood growth and one wise guy saying the whole deal is mafia influenced? a drive down Esplanade reveals residents' collective evil eye toward the whole deal with myriad anti-Habana Outpost signs hung in windows, protesting New York developer Sean Meenan's plans.
Earlier this week the Times-Pic reported on residents' issues with the restaurant? noise, parking, crowds, outdoor movie nights ? and what now seems like utter disdain for Meenan after he bought the property at 1040 Esplanade in June and started planning the restaurant without first talking to any Quarter or Treme residents. The restaurant will be based off of an existing Habana Outpost in Brooklyn, with plans for two-levels of dining, including a children's play area and an open-air dining section on the corner of the lot. The lot currently houses an abandoned gas station, which will remain in tact with some renovations.
Meenan himself has purchased a home on Esplanade, and will supposedly be moving to New Orleans full time in December. Before he opened his three locations of Habana Outpost in NYC and Cali, he was an original investor in Etsy.
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· Neighbors Rise Up Against Proposed Cuban Restaurant [NOLA.com]
· Habana Outpost in the Quarter? [TigerDroppings]