business food and drink

Sudden firing of Banks Street Bar & Grill workers reverberates across social media

Banks Street Bar & Grill, 4401 Banks St.

Former Bank Street Bar & Grill workers have taken to social media to reveal an apparent mass firing Thursday that occurred via the business’s group chat account on Discord .

The management, however, must have left behind the keys to the bar’s Instagram account, which turned into an outlet for the bartenders’ vitriol.

Meanwhile, a friend of the neighborhood dive bar set up a GoFundMe account to help the suddenly out-of-work bartenders. The goal is to raise $12,000, to provide $1,000 to each of the 12 laid-off employees. As Cheyenne Nichols, the GoFundMe organizer, writes:

“As you might’ve read in viral posts in New Orleans and the surrounding areas in the last day, all (yes all) of the employees were terminated unjustly from Bank Street Bar, without any notice. 12 staff members were let go, during the slowest season of the service industry (summer) with no backup, no pay, and no notice.”

Banks Street Bar patrons — from Washington state to Florida as well as the metro area — also took to Yelp to damage the establishment’s customer ratings.

Banks Street Bar has been a gathering spot for Mid-City residents since 1959. It later achieved acclaim as a music venue, putting on nightly shows with a variety of mostly local acts. After Katrina, it gained more respect for hosting acoustic performances by candlelight before electricity was restored to the area.

In early 2018, Mid-City Pizza owner Rand Owens, known as the “Mayor of Banks Street,” purchased the bar that gave him his start in its kitchen. He went to work making improvements while dialing back the music emphasis.

Owens died suddenly just two years later at the age of 33. Ownership of the bar passed to his father, Guy Owens of Lafayette, and other family members.

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