Freret Street Poboy and Donut Shop, part of the first wave of restaurants to open on the Freret Street corridor after Katrina, has closed its doors because it has struggled “to keep up with the continued evolution of the neighborhood,” reports the Uptown Messenger. Another issue was the street project that has lasted years.
When Myra Bercy-Rhodies opened the shop in 2009, it was part of a group of openings that marked a post-Katrina rebirth and a commercial renaissance of Freret. Other restaurants that opened in the area at that time were Cure, Sarita’s Grill and Village Coffee. Village Coffee recently closed to become a Starbucks.
As the street grew from a quiet street to a busy commercial corridor often times called Restaurant Row, free parking spots were converted to paid parking spots, road construction lasted for years, and chains like Blaze Pizza and Halal Guys moved in.
Other small businesses moved in and grew on Freret. Notably, Liberty Cheesesteaks started in a small space in 2013 and upgraded to a much larger space recently. Dat Dog started in the same small space in 2011 and is now a chain itself.
Bercy-Rhodies says that she stopped seeing regulars and she struggled to pay the rent.
The landlord, Sam Berman, said that he doesn’t know what business will move into the spot yet, but he’s looking out for what is best for the neighborhood.