What’s New in New Orleans Hospitality Industry

What’s New in New Orleans Hospitality Industry

Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans

WHY IT RATES: A new airport terminal, nonstop flight service from various airlines and an Italian restaurant are among the recent happenings in New Orleans.—Codie Liermann, Associate Editor

New Developments:

—We look forward to several new developments this year, including a new airport, cocktail museum, children’s museum and more. For a full list of developments, click here.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is on track to open the new 972,000 square-foot facility in May 2019.

—This new, world-class terminal complex will completely replace the current facility.

—The $1 billion project includes in-line baggage screening, a consolidated security checkpoint to three concourses and 35 gates, a 2,200-car parking garage and more concessions options located down the concourse center aisles.

—Food and beverage concessions and news, gift and specialty treat retail concessions will feature a mix of local brands representative of Louisiana and New Orleans as well as national brands that appeal to both the local and visiting passengers, including Shake Shack, Mondo, Leah’s Kitchen and Midway Pizza.

—The new facility is expected to increase the airport’s economic impact by approximately 20 percent in the next five years and will support 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in local spending.

New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) officially launched its inaugural culinary class in January at 725 Howard Avenue.

—The $32 million culinary and hospitality institute is home to teaching kitchens, a wine and spirits lab, a retail café space, separate classroom and office spaces for NOCHI and Tulane University and an event center on the top floor.

—A range of enthusiast classes will be offered to locals and visitors alike for those passionate about food, wine and cocktails, looking to improve their skill.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the historic milestone, the festival has added an extra day to the lineup making Thursday, April 25th this year’s opening day. The festival also recently announced a historic lineup for the special anniversary.

—Headliners for this year’s festival include The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, Katy Perry, Santana, Pitbull, Van Morrison, John Fogerty, Al Green, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffet and many more.

Upcoming Events:

Mardi Gras season kicked off in New Orleans on Sunday, January 6th, known as Twelfth Night. Parades will continue through Mardi Gras Day on Tuesday, March 5th.

—Carnival Season welcomes more than one million people to the streets of New Orleans.

—The Krewe of Rex chose the colors of Mardi Gras in 1872, with purple representing justice, gold representing power and green representing faith.

—More than 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between January 6th and Fat Tuesday, and another 50,000 are shipping out-of-state via overnight courier.

—Many krewes are known for their unique handmade throws, such as the Krewe of Zulu’s coconuts and the Krewe of Muses’ shoes.

—This year, many of the smaller more unique walking parades are rolling earlier than usual, like the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, which will parade through the Marigny on February 9th.

French Quarter Festival recently announced their 2019 lineup. The festival celebrates its 36th year and is set to take place April 11th – 14th. Headliners include Galactic, Irma Thomas, Jon Cleary, Little Freddie King, Cyril Neville and many more.

—French Quarter Festival is the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, bringing more than 300 acts to 23 stages across the French Quarter.

—Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s A Tuba To Cuba officially hits the big screen showing in select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles beginning on February 15th.

For a full list of events, click here.


—Atelier Ace, the creative group behind the Ace Hotel, will open Maison de la Luz, a distinctive new guest house located in the city’s Central Business District this April. The new property will feature 67 guest rooms, a library bar and a curated concierge service.


The Louisiana Children’s Museum announced that it will partner with local restaurant group, Dickie Brennan & Co. for the onsite restaurant, Acorn. Set to open with the Museum in late summer 2019.

—The full-service café will have seating for 165. There will also be a kid’s culinary lab and child size booths.

—Acorn will serve fresh, family-friendly cuisine, utilizing local ingredients, some sourced from as nearby as the edible garden at the museum. In addition to the café menu, there will be fresh “grab and go” options.

Chef Donald Link is gearing up to open his latest concept, Gianna, an Italian restaurant.

—James Beard Award-winning Chef Rebecca Wilcomb will be the executive chef.

—Located on the corner of Magazine and Girod streets in the newly built Kalorama building.

Tales of the Cocktail will open its own bar taking over the former home of Pigeon & Prince, an events space in the Central Business District.

—The four-floor venue will be called Storyteller X Tales (“Storyteller by Tales”) and will be the future home to private events, classes and the Tales of the Cocktail Bar, which is expected to open in the coming months.


—Bacchanal Wine Bar and Chef Alex Harrell is the force behind the Elysian Bar which recently opened in the Hotel Peter and Paul. The concept is a small plates only menu influenced by Southern staples.

—Chef Justin Devillier and his wife Mia Freiberger-Devillier have officially opened their third restaurant, Justine, which combines the sophistication of Parisian brasseries with the playfulness of the South’s most lively district, located in the French Quarter at 225 Chartres Street. True to the heart of French brasserie culture, the bustling, multi-roomed restaurant offers a versatile space to be enjoyed by all.

—Chef Justin Devillier is the Chef/Owner of La Petite Grocery, Balise and Justine, and the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef South. His wife Mia Freiberger-Devillier is the Director of Operations & Partner at La Petite Grocery, Balise and Justine.

New Direct Flights:

—Spirit Airlines announced two new daily nonstop flights from Denver International Airport (DEN) to New Orleans and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ATX) to New Orleans, both beginning on Februarys 14th, 2019.

—Allegiant Air announced a new seasonal nonstop flight from Louisville International Airport (SDF) to New Orleans beginning February 28th, 2019 through May 5th, 2019. The flight will be offered twice weekly on Sundays and Thursdays.

—Spirit Airlines announced a new seasonal nonstop flight from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to New Orleans beginning on May 2nd, 2019.

Meetings and Conventions:

Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) includes:

PennWell Corporation DistribuTECH | February 5–7

—Projected attendance: 10,000 attendees

IRONMAN Rock N’ Roll Marathon | February 9–10

—One of the largest running events in New Orleans

—Preservation Hall Jazz Band to headline the Toyota Rock N’ Roll Concert Series

—Projected attendance: 14,000 attendees

Keller Williams Realty Family Reunion Convention | February 16–19

—Projected attendance: 11,000

Southern Council of Optometrists (SECO) Annual SECO Congress | February 18–24

—The world’s largest optometric educational conference, SECO 2019 discovers the latest innovations and advancements that are transforming the eye care industry

—From new information on corneal disease to cutting-edge practice management technologies, SECO offers all the information optometric professionals need to stay ahead and provide the best care possible

—Projected attendance: 6,000

Catersource | February 22–28

—Featuring presentations from more than 100 professionals in the catering industry.

—The Art of Catering Food events aim to help local restaurants create their own unique catering experiences

—Projected attendance: 10,000

SOURCE: New Orleans and Company & Company press release.


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