Employees at the Maple Street Starbucks will be first in Louisiana to unionize

The polls closed for the Maple Street Starbucks union election at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday (June 4), and 15 minutes later, the count was announced. The workers at the 7700 Maple Street location had voted overwhelmingly to unionize. With the final count 11-1 in favor of forming a union, this Starbucks will be the first in Louisiana to unionize. A total of 14?votes were cast, but two were contested.?

The Maple Street coffeehouse joins more than 100 Starbucks stores nationwide that have unionized in the past seven months, since a Buffalo, New York, store became the first in December 2021. The Maple Street Starbucks workers will be a part of the national union known as Workers United.?

Reporters, supporters and off-the-clock baristas waited for the results outside the polling place across the street from the coffeehouse, as the temperature soared over 90 degrees.

Upperline owners put the restaurant up for sale

Corporate Realty announced last week that the beloved Upperline Restaurant is on the market. The owners — proprietor JoAnn Clevenger, her husband Alan Greenacre and their son Jason Clevenger — are selling the restaurant at Upperline and Pitt streets. The art-filled restaurant known for its creative interpretations of Creole and Cajun standards served its last meal in March 2020. The owners announced in November 2021 that the restaurant would not reopen from the pandemic shutdown. Clevenger, who is 83, told NOLA.com’s Ian McNulty in 2021: “We would sell Upperline with the name and the recipes, but I only want to sell to someone who is not going to damage what we built here; they could change it, but I have to trust they won’t damage it.”

The 4,293-square-foot property currently has a liquor license and is outfitted with fixtures, furniture and equipment, according to Corporate Realty.

Get Your Mom and Dim Sum pop-up brings Southern-influenced Chinese food to local breweries

A new dim sum pop-up is adding another option to the city’s Chinese food scene. Get Your Mom and Dim Sum can be found at your local brewery.?

Owner Andrew Lu was raised in Lafayette and grew up in the restaurant industry. His love of food and cooking began in the kitchen of his family’s Chinese restaurant. After attending the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, Lu moved to New Orleans and worked his way through some of the city’s top restaurants. “I started working with chef Nathan Richard at Kingfish and from there, the both of us moved on to Cavan,” Lu said.

Bisutoro on Magazine aims to “bring the Japanese menu back to simplicity”

Bisutoro on Magazine, a new sushi bistro, opened in March in the Lower Garden District. Bisutoro on Magazine’s focus is Japanese dishes that you won’t find anywhere else and a rotating specialty fish list that includes selections from around the world. Chefs and owners Ryan Smith and Dariel Medina serve?an array of nigiri, sashimi, hand rolls and other small plates. Smith, who grew up in Salt Lake City, received his culinary training in Japan and made sushi at Utah ski resorts before relocating to New Orleans 11 years ago. He said he wants to bring traditional Japanese sushi, in all its simplicity, to the city he loves.

Fans of Casa Borrega mourn its closing

Patrons who have been enjoying eclectic Mexican fare, a variety of live music and the occasional street parties at Casa Borrega?since 2012 will sadly miss it. “Oh no, I can’t believe it. I was just there last week,” said one regular, expressing the dismay of many when they learned the Central City restaurant served its last Chile Relleno and Margarita Borrega on Friday (May 6). It was located in the section of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard that has seen spurts of development since Hugo Montero and Linda Stone first came up with the concept more than a decade ago. Other restaurants followed – with varied success — and a couple of years later the Southern Food and Beverage Museum opened down the street.

Rouses Markets named official supermarket of the Saints (sponsored)

Rouses Markets is teaming up again with the New Orleans Saints. The Gulf Coast’s grocery has been designated the club’s official supermarket, as well as presenting sponsor of Saints Training Camp. Rouses Markets customers will have the opportunity to receive early access into Training Camp practices through a Fast Pass Lane. “Saints fans are some of the most passionate and proud sports fans in the country, and I’m one of them,” notes Donny Rouse, CEO. “There is a loyal Saints fan base in every market we serve across the Gulf Coast.

Zee’s Pizzeria getting ready to fire up its ovens in the Milan neighborhood

Zee’s Pizzeria, the pizza popup slinging pies at Zony Mash Beer Project, is making a move to a place of its own in the Milan area. Owner Zander White is currently working on a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Baronne Street about a block from Martin’s Wine Cellar. He plans to open in mid-June. Pizza making had been a tradition for White and his father. When the family moved to New Orleans from Maine in 1994, they began buying dough from bakeries and making the Northeast-style pizza they missed from back home.?

“In the ’90s and early 2000s, there wasn’t a lot of good pizza options in New Orleans,” said White, who worked in New Orleans pizza parlors as a teenager.

‘Out of time and options,’ Live Oak Cafe is latest casualty of pandemic losses

The Live Oak Cafe — the epitome of Oak Street’s laid-back, creative vibe — is closing its doors Sunday (May 8) after its Mother’s Day brunch. Announcing the closure on the cafe’s Facebook page, chef and owner Clare Leavy said that the uptick in business during Carnival season was not enough to overcome the losses experienced during the pandemic. “Simply put, we are out of time and options,” Leavy stated. The cafe is known for its fresh, down-home renditions of classic brunch fare with dishes such as Sweet Potato Benedict and its beloved Shrimp & Grits. And every meal at Live Oak has been served with a side of live music.

Red Gravy on Magazine to close, citing staffing, pandemic and hurricane woes

Red Gravy Cafe is closing after serving rustic Italian fare on Magazine Street’s restaurant row for less than a year. The last day of business will be Saturday (April 30). Owner Roseann Rostoker blames bad timing and the combination of the pandemic, staff shortages and Hurricane Ida for the closure. Rostoker and her husband and business partner, Lou Lombardo, are from New Jersey and Philadelphia, respectively. They moved to New Orleans 10 years ago and opened Red Gravy as a brunch and lunch spot on Camp Street in the Central Business District.