Mar 222017

Jay Nix, of Parkway Bakery and Tavern, took home the inaugural “Person of the Year” award from the Mid-City Businesses Association (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com).

By Claire Byun

Several Mid-City businesses positively impact the culture, quality of life and appearance of the neighborhood, and two such organizations were called into the spotlight.

The Greater Mid-City Business Association held its annual award luncheon Tuesday to honor local businesses that improve, embrace and impact Mid-City. This year’s gala featured a new award that recognizes a single business owner, as well as an award for the “Business of the Year.”

Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery and Tavern, took home that Person of the Year trophy.

“I didn’t know whether to stand up or fall out of my chair,” Nix said. “It’s just so special to me.”

Nix was among five other people nominated for the award, including City Councilmember Susan Guidry and Pauline and Stephen Patterson of Finn McCools. Sophie Harris, executive director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, was also up for the award.

Harris made it onstage anyway, as Friends of Lafitte Greenway nabbed the Business of the Year award.

Sophie Harris, executive director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, accepts the “Business of the Year” award (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com).

“It feels significant that the business community in Mid-City is seeing the value of the Greenway at it’s impact on the city,” Harris said. “We could not have been successful without all you guys.”

The luncheon brings business owners together from all over Mid-City to socialize, network and nosh. This year’s event, held at The Cannery on Toulouose Street, featured an array of city officials including Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City Councilmember Susan Guidry and NOPD First District Commander Hans Ganthier.

Landrieu touted Mid-City’s growth since Katrina, especially along the Carrollton corridor. For years the area had been defunct – with no new developments or businesses – but over time grew with more speed than any other parts of the city, he said.

“There’s not a more quickly ascending place in the city of New Orleans than Mid-City,” Landrieu said.

Guidry also complimented the growth around the area, most notably along the Lafitte Greenway. After the storm, Guidry said she received an email suggesting the empty stretch of land along the train tracks could be turned into a public park.

The current investment along the corridor and it’s continued growth is just icing on the cake, she said.

“I thought that not anything good could come from that storm, and that was the first time that anything had come to my mind that could be good,” Guidry said.

Six businesses, organizations or events were up for the yearly honor, listed below:

-The Broad Theater
-Friends of Lafitte Greenway,
-Mike’s Mid-City Service Station
-The Krew of Endymion
-The New Orleans Redevelopment Fund
-Bayou Boogaloo

Five individuals and a couple were nominated for the personal award, as follows:

-Jay Nix, Parkview Bakery and Tavern
-Sophie Harris, Friends of Lafitte Greenway
-Susan Guidry, New Orleans City Councilmember District A
-Pauline and Stephen Patterson, Finn McCools
-Justin Pitard, Avery’s Restaurant

Anyone could nominate a business person or business to the Mid-City Business Association’s board, and board members voted on the winner. Tim Levy, president of the association, announced each award recipient at the luncheon.

For more information about the association, visit their website.

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