Welcome to p.m. Intel, your afternoon roundup of New Orleans food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- The Folger Coffee Co., which has a plant in New Orleans East, is seeking nearly $25 million in tax breaks from the city of New Orleans, some of which is for long-completed projects, reports NOLA.com. The company is applying for the tax breaks through the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, or ITEP, a Louisiana initiative that exempts businesses from paying “as much as 80 percent of the property taxes they’d pay on developments or other investments,” like renovations or upgrades. The issue will come before City Council tomorrow, December 17, with at least one council member opposing the breaks, saying City Hall “needs the revenue to bolster the budget after a drastic downturn in tourism revenue from coronavirus.” Folger’s has received about $121 million in breaks between 2000 and 2017, according to NOLA.com. Residents that want to submit a public comment for tomorrow’s meeting can use the city’s form here (Folgers is agenda item 03b).
- A “touchless” grocery store has opened at 3701 S. Claiborne Avenue in Broadmoor, allowing customers to place an order online to be packed up for delivery or pickup. At yesterday’s grand opening, city officials touted that the store was locally-owned, took over an empty 5,000 square foot retail space, and would employ 20 to 30 part-time and full-time local employees. EZgo Market is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- The chef and owner of contemporary Southern restaurant Carrollton Market has gained attention this week for his response to a customer complaining about a “Black Lives Matter” sign in the restaurant’s window, garnering thousands of likes and supportive messages across social media platforms. Chef Jason Goodenough posted his exchange with the customer, who said that despite their takeout meal being delicious, will never again patronize the restaurant due to the sign. Goodenough pledges to donate the total dollar amount the customer has spent at the restaurant over the years (and match it with his own funds) to BLM-aligned nonprofits in the person’s name, and signs off with “see you in hell.”
- A lawsuit filed by Bourbon Street’s Oceana Grill in March has gone to trial in Louisiana, with the tourist-centric restaurant arguing that its insurer Lloyd’s of London should cover losses from diminished dining capacity due to the coronavirus. It was the first suit of its kind filed, setting off a wave of coronavirus-related lawsuits from business owners and restaurant associations across the US. On Monday, Oceana Grill’s former general manager testified that before COVID-19, the restaurant served 1,600 diners per day and paid $91,000 in an annual premium for the policy.
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