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Rand Owens, the ‘King of Banks Street’ and Founder of Mid City Pizza, Dies at 33

Rand Owens owned Mid City Pizza and Banks Street Bar

Pizza Party! A look at Mid City Pizza, Plus Wood Opens in Warehouse District
The signature artwork at Mid City Pizza
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Rand Owens, the young founder of one of New Orleans’s top pizza destinations, died at home on Sunday, February 29 at age 33. Relatives told NOLA.com his cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Owens founded Mid City Pizza in 2013, when he took over a Banks Street pizza parlor formerly known as Lazaro’s after being employed there for some time. A year later he moved his operation across the street, reopening in the space that previously held Crescent Pie & Sausage. It was there Mid City Pizza grew into a laid-back, cozy destination for thin crust pizza known for its colorful artwork and old school arcade games NBA Jam and Simpsons Arcade.

Three years later Owens expanded with a second location on Miro Street, MCP Uptown, where he created a similarly fun vibe and bright aesthetic. In 2018 he bought Banks Street Bar, the nearly half-century old dive bar and music venue across the street from Mid City Pizza, the same building where he first started slinging slices.

On Saturday, friends and family will honor the man they called the “Mayor of Mid City”, and the “King of Banks Street”, with a memorial service at the House of Blues and a nighttime block party between his Banks Street establishments, calling it Festival of Pizza.

Mid City Pizza, MCP Uptown, and Banks Street Bar remain open, with Owens’ sister telling NOLA.com they plan to continue to operate both as Rand would have run them.

MCP Uptown

6307 S. Miro St. , New Orleans, Visit Website

Mid City Pizza

4400 Banks Street, , LA 70119 (504) 483-8609 Visit Website

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