On this week’s The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we’re on Bayou Road in New Orleans, a fascinating and vibrant spot in the city that you need to know! We chat with the proprietor of Whiskey & Sticks, Kelder Summers, the proprietor of The Half Shell on the Bayou, Mark Lawes, and the publisher of the New Orleans Tribune and operator of the McKenna Museum of African American Art, Beverly McKenna.
Pictured above – Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show, Kelder Summers of Whiskey & Sticks, and Mark Lawes of The Half Shell on the Bayou.
NOLADrinks Show 7-1-19 – Bayou Road in New Orleans – NOLA Neighborhoods
We start things off letting you know about this week’s show and a bit about next week’s, our next French Quarter Fest Series Show celebrating August’s Satchmo Summerfest 2019. We also discuss our upcoming Tales of the Cocktail coverage.
Next, we head over to the historic Bayou Road found in the Seventh Ward of New Orleans for our featured interview. One of the oldest or, perhaps, the oldest street in New Orleans, it was a transit point for people heading from the bayou to the river, as it was located on high ground, relative to surrounding areas of course. It is New Orleans after all! This show is part of our new “NOLA Neighborhoods” series where we explore areas you may not know with a good dose of hospitality, food, drink, and culture!
Historically, this area was inhabited by free people of color who also operated businesses along this stretch. Today, it has undergone an economic revitalization with numerous African American owned businesses established along the street. Much of the effort was spearheaded by area residents themselves including one of our guests, Beverly McKenna, who was the driving force advocating for Bayou Road. Our other two guests, Kelder Summers of Whiskey & Sticks and Mark Lawes of The Half Shell on the Bayou were critical in the effort, as well, establishing anchor businesses on the street.
We discuss their businesses (and those of their neighbors), the historic nature of the street, and many of the attractions and activities Bayou Road has to offer to visitors and residents alike. Whiskey & Sticks is a terrific bar that emphasizes a strong whiskey program as well as cigars. Half Shell on the Bayou is just two doors up and boasts a tremendous traditional New Orleans menu with great gumbo and, you guessed it, oysters. Both offer outdoors seating, events, and warm hospitality.
Pictured above from left – Beverly McKenna of the New Orleans Tribune, McKenna Museum of African American Art, and Bayou Road advocate and Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show.
Also, Beverly let’s us know about the New Orleans Tribune and the McKenna Museum of African American Art that she operates with her husband, Dr. Dwight McKenna, who is also the city’s coroner. Additionally, we discuss important concepts such as the need for cultural preservation and support for the diverse and varied New Orleans neighborhoods that, in reality, are the driving force for the culture here.
We talk about the economic importance of an area like Bayou Road to both the city and our citizens. Other topics include discussions by certain politicians in town to, potentially, limit aspects of life and culture that are critical to New Orleans, such as live music and festivals.
Kelder and Mark stick around for “Another Shot with NOLADrinks” where our conversation continues, and we chat about upcoming events on Bayou Road and what both the city and its residents can do to support neighborhoods such as this.
We close things out with our “Parting Shot” on exploring and appreciating the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans and how they are critical to the city.
The map below shows the location of Whiskey & Sticks and The Half Shell on the Bayou that are both tightly clustered with many other great spots on Bayou Road. We also indicate the location of the McKenna Museum of African American Art found Uptown. You can use the links and the player at the top of the post to subscribe to, stream, and download The NOLADrinks Show podcast.
Cheers, You All!