Mar 052014

The building at 800 North Broad. (image via Google)

Plans for a new Broad Street daiquiri shop, which had won approval by the City Planning Commission but had met opposition by several neighboring businesses, won’t be built after all.

Last month, City Council members deferred the vote until March 13. The proposal was on deadline for Feb. 22, however, which means the deferral was effectively a way to reject the plan, according to City Councilwoman Susan Guidry’s chief of staff, Matthew Fraser.

“It’s the same as killing it or denying it,” Fraser said Wednesday.

UNO business graduate Michael Thompson Jr. had wanted to open the Daiquiri Lounge in the vacant space on the corner of Broad and St. Ann streets in time for Mardi Gras, according to a December report by Robert Morris of Uptown Messenger.

The City Planning Commission recommended approval of the project Dec. 10, but with provisions that mandated certain security restrictions.

If it had passed through City Council, the bar would have had to close at midnight on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends, and would have required security be present after 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday. Other restrictions would have also been implemented, such as a litter control plan and the prohibition of live music outside.

The owner of the space, Willie Jefferson, said he has a track record of responsible business ownership, but owners of neighboring businesses expressed concern over the project, according to the December report.

Paul Irons of Elite Construction noted that major crimes are committed at daiquiri shops, for example, and at the December meeting cited murder cases associated with drug kingpins near the Jazz Daiquiri shop on South Claiborne Avenue, Morris reported.

In February, City Council gave no explanation about why the vote was being deferred, and Fraser said he couldn’t speak to the decision, either.

The space has previously held a beauty shop and restaurant. When Jefferson bought it 35 years ago, the NOPD was using it as a front for a sting operation involving stolen goods, Morris reported.



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