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Back From the Brink of Closure, St. Roch Market Is Full of Food Vendors For the First Time Since 2020

Plus, a Claiborne Avenue plaza promises space for food vendors, crawfish bread and king cakes are headed to Bayou St. John, and more news to know

St. Roch Market.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

After years of dwindling vendors and a particularly slow summer, New Orleans’s last remaining food hall, St. Roch Market, was on the brink of closure by the end of August. That was before one of its original vendors, CR Coffee Shops owner Kevin Pedeaux, stepped in. Pedeaux took over the food hall’s hefty lease in September and has since dedicated his time to rebuilding the once-buzzing building. Pedeaux, who can typically be found at the food hall from morning to night and has managed to bring back some of the hall’s other original vendors as well as add new ones, tells Eater St. Roch is “full up with 11 vendors” with a waiting list, and promises further “exciting” changes soon. It’s a welcome turnaround for the historic market and building, which hasn’t had a full roster of vendors since prior to the pandemic.

Backatown Plaza market promises space for food vendors

A project taking shape along Claiborne Avenue could create space for the corridor’s once-thriving food vendor ecosystem — though its final form remains to be seen. Called Backatown Plaza, the first phase of the market and event space at the underpass between the Lafitte Greenway and Orleans Avenue is reportedly going to host at least 30 vendors, a stage, rain gardens, and other green infrastructure conducive for a planned weekly market, according to the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. The project is being led by the Ujamaa Economic Development Corporation, which says it is hoping for a late November soft opening.

Crawfish bread and king cakes landing in Bayou St. John

Martha Gilreath founded her king cake pop-up Nolita three Mardi Gras ago, building a solid following for her simple but delicious cakes topped with a runny glaze and thick sugar crystals. Now Gilreath is bringing those cakes, her family’s crawfish bread recipe, boudin Danishes, baguettes, and more to the Bayou St. John space formerly home to Mayhew Bakery. Gilreath expects to open her first solo bakery, Nolita, at 3201 Orleans Avenue in December.

Port Orleans is expanding to the West Bank

A popular Uptown brewery is set to anchor a new Gretna development, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, occupying a three-story building that will also house a restaurant, barbershop, and public green space at the corner of Huey P. Long Avenue and 2nd Street. Port Orleans Brewing, which a team of partners including then-New Orleans Saints player Zach Strief opened on Tchoupitoulas Street in 2017, is expected to open its second location in Gretna in 2025.

Seafood Sally’s reopens with revamped menu, kitchen

Seafood Sally’s has reopened following its month-long closure prompted by a state order to replace its kitchen flooring in compliance with newer regulations. Though some feared the closure could remain permanent, the charming seafood destination from the owners of Marjie’s Grill is back with a revamped menu featuring new crudo (Sicilian sashimi with Gulf swordfish, tuna, and snapper) and crab claws aguachile. Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs are also preparing to open their Mid-City seafood market and restaurant in partnership with the owners of Carmo this fall.

Black Restaurant Week New Orleans kicks off today

It’s time again for the Gulf Coast iteration of Black Restaurant Week, making it a better-than-ever time to visit local favorites and participating restaurants like Addis Nola, Baby’s Snack Box, Nice Guys Bar & Grill, Nonno’s Cajun Cuisine, Peewee’s Crab Cakes on the Go, Backatown Coffee Parlour, and Meals from the Heart Cafe. For a full list of participating restaurants and related events throughout the week, see here.