Big Freedia and team have shared new details about the forthcoming music venue, restaurant, and micro hotel in New Orleans first announced last year, tentatively called Hotel Freedia. Speaking at an event for the Nieux Society last week, the Queen of Bounce rolled out plans to sell memberships to the venue through NFTs, at least to start, according to the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.
The Nieux Society, or NieuxCo, is a large group of tech promoters and real estate developers that just last week announced plans to turn New Orleans’s Eiffel Tower building (located at 2040 St. Charles Avenue) into a members-only “NFT hub” called the Nieux, featuring a speakeasy, an outdoor bar and lounge, and a multi-vendor restaurant. This is where Big Freedia and real estate developer Zach Kupperman (who is behind the Drifter Hotel and most recently helped open Hotel Saint Vincent) discussed details and offered attendees — members of the Nieux Society — membership to Hotel Freedia for the equivalent of $750 in Ethereum (today, $750 equals about 0.47 ETH).
Hotel Freedia will be located at 2114 Decatur Street, a two-story, 4,800-square-foot Marigny building bought by Kupperman for an undisclosed price in 2021. The hotel will have just five rooms, with a 60-seat restaurant and music venue located on the ground floor and a pool and clubhouse on the second floor. Freedia’s manager, Reid Martin, tells Eater that the venue will indeed be open to the public, but that the NFT-based memberships will grant “cover-free access to the Hotel Freedia courtyard pool and rooftop hot tub and bar; first-come, first-served access to guest list spots for non-sold out shows, exclusive room rental discounts, and exclusive food and beverage offers.”
Hotel Freedia and the Nieux are the latest NFT clubs planned for New Orleans — last year, Compère Lapin chef Nina Compton and her husband and partner Larry Miller, along with a group of celebrity chefs, announced plans to open ShaSha Lounge: Social Aid and Pleasure Club, an NFT cocktail club in New Orleans. According to a press release from NieuxCo, holders of the Nieux’s Mardi Gras NFTs will be granted “participation” in Hotel Freedia as well as ShaSha Lounge. These “first edition Mardi Gras NFTs” will grant access to the Nieux space for “parades, special events, private parties, food and drink, exclusive performances, bathrooms, and more,” according to the release. In other words, the group is monetizing Mardi Gras, known as “the greatest free show on earth.”
A Nieux Homebase for Mardi Gras...join the parade. pic.twitter.com/IzHSPHbsb3— The Nieux Society (@NieuxSociety) January 28, 2023
In addition to being a rapper, dancer, author, and public speaker, Big Freedia is a major cook and culinary influencer who has held pop-ups up at Cafe Reconcile, hosted cooking classes, launched a rosé, and at one point worked on a cookbook. Details about the restaurant are still being finalized, but Freedia’s culinary prowess — and her recipes — will be a big part of the restaurant experience. Freedia told Essense last year that Hotel Freedia “will be a place where people can come if they want to have a cup of coffee in the morning and do some work on their computer, it will also be a great space for people to come and have dinner.” The venue will serve as “home base” for Freedia’s performances but also host other live music acts, both local and national, Martin said. The group’s goal is to open Hotel Freedia by Mardi Gras 2024.