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A Promising Family-Owned Bakery Closes Permanently Amid Coronavirus Fallout

Ten-month old Tiger Bakery appears to be the first New Orleans restaurant casualty due to the coronavirus crisis’ impact

Inside Tiger Bakery, now closed due to coronavirus
Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

A charming, Parisian-style bakery on General Pershing Street has closed its doors after less than ten months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to The Tiger Bakery owner Omie Johnson. Johnson opened the bakery and cafe in Broadmoor last spring with the help of her two daughters and son, serving tarts, cookies, cakes, and a version of a sno-ball (called a sno-flower) to the Uptown neighborhood.

A handful of Johnson’s family and their friends spent more than a year renovating the former barbershop and muffin outlet on the corner of General Pershing and S. Derbigny Streets, finally opening in June 2018. As Tiger Bakery, Johnson’s desserts, danishes, flatbreads, sno-flowers, and kolaches earned rave reviews from the neighborhood from the time it opened through earlier this month.

Since last week’s statewide order closing bars and restaurant dining rooms, many New Orleans establishments have pivoted to takeout and curbside pickup, and still some, like Commander’s Palace and Domilise’s have chosen to temporarily close entirely during the restrictions. Either way, hundreds of restaurant and bar workers are losing their jobs, and remaining open after current losses is a challenge every restaurant faces.

Johnson told Eater the decision was “personal and hard to make,” but that in part because it was a new business she “felt extra concerns” about trying to pivot operations so abruptly while retaining enough business to survive. While it’s “very challenging to know how to move ahead” right now, Johnson said she is open to new opportunities both for her personally and that would allow her to reopen the bakery.

Do you know of a local fund or initiative to support New Orleans’s service industry? Heard of a restaurant closing permanently due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know.

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