Wright added that he wanted to put rooftop seating in his new restaurant because Chicago’s Wrigley Field inspired him.
“I thought it would be neat to have seating on the roof to watch games at St. Patrick’s Park,” Wright added, referring to a local Mid-City park and playground on the corner of St. Patrick and Baudin streets.
At the meeting, Wright said that the development would seat 40 or 50 patrons. Although some residents expressed concern that the blueprints looked big, he said that it would be as quaint as Café Degas, a local French restaurant located on Esplanade Avenue.
“Having an old New Orleans-style seafood restaurant seems like a good thing to me,” Wright said.
But neighbors attending the meeting seemed less enchanted with the idea.
Community members expressed concern about lack of space in the area, the noise levels that the restaurant would bring and a potential parking shortage for neighbors.
“It’s a tiny little lot in a neighborhood that’s a dead end,” said Doris Lumpkin, a real estate agent who lives in the area.
According to a City of New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments agenda, Green Wing Properties of New Orleans applied for a permit at that address for “the construction of a restaurant with excessive floor area ratio and insufficient off-street parking.”
Wright said that he was hoping to be able to provide ten parking spaces for the restaurant. The city requires 23 off-street spaces, according to the agenda, so Wright had to apply for a waiver for the rest.
At the meeting, Lumpkin added that she was worried about what kind of noise the outdoor seating would bring.
“It’s going to be loud and rowdy,” Lumpkin said.
Amy Busby, another local who works in public health, reiterated that she was concerned about that and street crowding.
But Wright said he didn’t think that, if approved, the restaurant would cause any problems.
“I’m sorry, I’m opening a restaurant for families,” Wright countered. “It’s not a bar.”
Bonnie Garrigan, vice president of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization, said that the organization hadn’t yet formed an opinion about how the restaurant would potentially affect the neighborhood.
“The board hasn’t taken a position on this yet, but we will,” Garrigan said.