NOLA An “Unforgettable” NYE Destination; Local Businesses Ringing Registers

Pop a bottle of bubbly and blow some horns – New Orleans has been named one of 13 “Unforgettable New Year’s Eve Getaway” North American destinations by travel and restaurant website TripAdvisor.

“Ringing in the New Year in New Orleans is one of the best times to see the city’s year-round joie de vivre on display,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans & Company. “From the fireworks along the riverfront to the Fleur De Lis Drop to hosting Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, New Orleans’ authentic spirit is felt by every visitor and resident who participates. Thank you to our restaurants, hotels, attractions, tours and culture bearers for earning the reputation for New Orleans to be the best city to ring in a new year.” 

“Unforgettable” New Orleans is in good company, listed among Key West, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Orlando, Florida, but the TripAdvisor rankings find the Crescent City makes some noise when it comes to its dazzling Mississippi River fireworks display, authentic swamp and bayou tours, vibrant food scene and affordable vacation rentals.

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Some local businesses are capitalizing on the New Year with sparkling specials, sure to ring some registers by the stroke of midnight:


  • Plan to plant a midnight kiss in a cloud of confetti at the NOPSI Hotel’s Secret Garden New Year’s Eve multi-level experience and celebration.

From 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31 to 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, enjoy hand-crafted libations, regionally-inspired cuisine and live entertainment from local New Orleans artists including DJ BamBam Belonge at Above the Grid rooftop bar and live music in the main lobby performed by “New Orleans Songstress” YaDonna West and her band.

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The year-end enchantment includes an all-night open bar and a light buffet served until 10:30 p.m.

General admission tickets cost $195, and doors open at 8:00 p.m. at 317 Baronne St.

There is also a $40 ticket that includes entry only.

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Attendees must enter by 11:00 p.m. and be 21 years of age or older with valid identification. 

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  • The Cannery’s Mid-City New Year’s Eve Rooftop Party is an extravaganza featuring music, dancing, a gourmet buffet by Toulouse Gourmet Catering, a premium open bar, free, secure parking, a continental breakfast, a second line to the Cannery’s fourth floor rooftop, the witnessing of the city’s many fireworks celebrations and a midnight rooftop champagne toast.

The bash begins at 8:30 p.m., at 3803 Toulouse St., and The Wiseguys will entertain from 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Tickets cost $125, and attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

Dress is New Year’s Eve casual.

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  • New Year’s Eve will be the last chance to view a local exhibit celebrating the birthday and artworks of Erté, the Father of Art Deco, at the Martin Lawrence Gallery, 433 Royal St. 

Celebrating 41 years of fine art in the French Quarter, the Martin Lawrence Gallery boasts the finest collection of Erté Art Deco in the city. Gouaches painted by Erté, dating back to 1917, as well as his other works are being featured during the duration of the exhibit, available for acquisition from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Born on Nov. 23, 1892, Erté died at the age of 98 on April 21, 1990. Gallery reps said his legend and masterful creations continue to amaze and delight aficionados of the art and fashion world.

Erté’s designs influenced the world of theatre, film and fashion, and an entire art movement in the 20thcentury known as Art Deco. In 1912, Erté moved to Paris and his talent was recognized by the city’s most established couturiers. In 1915, Erté began an association with Harper’s Bazaar by designing covers of each of their magazines for the next 22 years.

Erté also created original costumes and fashions for movie stars Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Norma Shearer and others, and for stage productions at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris, the Paris Opera, the Folies-Bergères and George White’s Scandals.

In 1968, Erté produced his first lithographs, and at age 75 he began to recreate the remarkable designs of his youth in bronze and serigraphy. 

Erté’s work is displayed at museums all over the world including the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Erté’s “Tuxedo” bronze sculpture, 21” x 9” x 7” CREDIT: Martin Lawrence Gallery



Several local restaurants are toasting Father Time, offering these New Year’s dining deals:


  • Arnaud’s, 813 Bienville St., has partnered with Moët & Chandon Champagne to host “12 Days of Merriment.” The last boozy brunch takes place Monday, Dec. 31, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 

At the Mini-Moët Monday event, diners will be offered miniature bottles of Moët Imperial and Moët Rosé for $20 each, coupled with Arnaud’s à la carte menu. 

All year long, Arnaud’s has been celebrating 100 years of serving authentic Creole cuisine, offering live Dixieland Jazz in the Jazz Bistro, romantic dinners in the main dining room, cocktails in the James Beard Award-winning French 75 Bar and an assortment of private dining rooms overlooking the historic French Quarter.

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  • Broussard’s, 819 Conti St., is celebrating New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with special New Year’s prix fixe three-course menus for $58.

The first course includes a choice of Cajun Caviar with chive blinis, shaved shallots and crème fraiche or chicken liver mousse with port-poached pear, raspberry preserves, pickled shallots and toasted brioche.

Second course entrees include a choice of a grilled veal chop with bacon-braised brussels sprouts, garlic whipped potatoes and veal bordelaise or a pan-fried whole trout with citrus and fennel salad and toasted almonds.

Third course desserts include Tarte à la Bouille with old-fashioned cookie crust, slow cooked custard and strawberry compote or a peach and champagne sorbet with macerated blackberries and almond brittle.

Holiday hours on Monday, Dec. 31, are from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 1, from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

An abbreviated à la carte menu will also be offered Monday and Tuesday.

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  • Bywater American Bistro, at the Rice Mill Lofts, 2900 Chartres St., will serve a New Year’s Eve prix-fixe dinner curated by Chef Nina Compton – winner of the 2018 James Beard Awards “Best Chef: South” – highlighting unique contemporary American seasonal flavors. The dinner is priced at $95 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).

The 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. menu includes Kusshi oysters with tomato dashi, avocado, olive and radish; Cobia tartare with satsuma, celery, cucumber and champagne; rabbit consommé with foie gras, green chiles, root vegetables and faro; American red snapper with broccoli rabe and crystal hot sauce hollandaise; fig and ricotta ravioli with candied pecans and usi Minnie; and champagne semifredo with chocolate mousse, strawberry and mint.

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  • On New Year’s Eve, revelers can indulge in a prix-fixe dinner menu crafted by Chef Nina Compton at Compère Lapin, 535 Tchoupitoulas St., from 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., for $125 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).

The special New Year’s Eve menu includes tuna with oyster crema and trout roe; sunchoke velouté with caviar; spaghetti with abalone mushrooms and burgundy truffles; grouper with beurre blanc and brussels; tenderloin of beef with leek puree and oxtail jus; and Bolivian chocolate with brown butter ice cream and hazelnuts.

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  • Copper Vine, a CBD wine-pub and eatery at 1001 Poydras St., will open its doors New Year’s Eve from 11:00 a.m. – ‘til for a festive à la carte dinner featuring Chef Mike Brewer’s signature dishes including mushroom pasta with Cognac, foie gras, parmesan cream and soft poached egg; and short rib with whipped parmesan, edamame and veal demi. 

On New Year’s Day from 9:30 a.m. – ‘til, guests will enjoy brunch dishes from the full à la carte menu including cochon & grits with house-cured pork belly, poached egg and mascarpone grits; Dutch baby pancake with fresh berry compote and lemon curd; and duck confit with poached egg, sweet potato hash, foie gras and blueberry hollandaise. 

There will also be a variety of “shareables” including the charcuterie board and a selection of popular flatbreads.

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Copper Vine’s Dutch Baby pancake will be served at its New Year’s Day Brunch starting at 9:30 a.m. CREDIT: Brandt Vicknair


  • At Effervescence, 1036 N. Rampart St., New Year’s Eve is so nice, they’re celebrating it twice!

On Monday, Dec. 31, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., begin your evening at the Champagne & Caviar Soirée with a taste of regal luxury – a glass of Henriot “Brut Souverain” champagne and canapé bites. 

Later that night, starting at 8:00 p.m., “Party Like a Tzar” at the Imperial Banquet Extravaganza that includes a Russian feast with an eight-course dinner, a Louis Roederer “Cristal” 2007 midnight toast and live music.
         Dinner will feature:
         Hors d’oeuvre: Zakuski
         First course: Salat and Odalushki
         Second course: Tundra fruits de mer
         Third course: Caviar service and blinis, chilled vodka
         Fourth course: Fabergé egg
         Fifth course: Kamchatka king crab
         Sixth course: Sturgeon pierogi
         Seventh course: Bœuf Wellington à la Russe
         Eighth course: Baked Siberia

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The extravagant excess of a bygone era will come to life New Year’s Eve at Effervescence where an Imperial Russian Feast will include an assortment of caviars and chilled vodka. CREDIT: Effervescence


  • Treat yourself to a Hangover Jazz Brunch on New Year’s Day at the Pythian Market, 234 Loyola Ave., from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., with an array of à la carte brunch offerings from 13 different vendors.

Diners will enjoy the eclectic, modern sounds of New Orleans-based live Jazz pianist and composer Will Feinberg while sipping on Bar 1908’s $5 draft beer; $6 mimosas, hot toddies and house wine; $7 bloody Mary’s and half priced bottles of wine. 

Brunch offerings will include cochon de lait benedict at Fete au Fete; a raw & bubble bar, bagel and lox, crab cake benedict, fried oyster Caesar salad, truffled grits, and fried green tomato and hollandaise at Cru; a traditional Jamaican breakfast with akee, salt fish, yellow yam, banana and dumplings at 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant; the jalapeño bacon cheddar waffle, the dirty breakfast fries with hand cut fries, pulled pork, provolone and fried egg and the breakfast po-boy with hot sausage, fried egg, charred chives aioli and crispy chips at Frencheeze; the Kais brunch bowl with rice, smoked salmon, poached egg, green onions, crispy onions nori and wasabi aioli at Kais; Cachapas with Venezuelan sweet corn pancakes, sunny-side-up eggs and cheese, breakfast tacos with flour tortillas, melted cheese and scrambled eggs and breakfast Arepas with Venezuelan cornmeal patties stuffed with scrambled eggs and cheese and a Caribbean breakfast bowl with rice, beans, sweet plantains and sunny-side-up eggs at La Cocinita, where all be served with a choice of meat or veggies; Shakshuka served with sous-vide eggs at Little Fig; a brunch pizza with white sauce, bacon, caramelized onions, cheesy eggs, apple jelly, truffle oil and parmesan at Meribo Pizza; and smoked salmon bagels with cream cheese, avocado and cucumber, a cauliflower benedict with cauliflower scramble, vegan sausage, vegan biscuit and cashew cream hollandaise and Açaí bowls with avocado toast and hard boiled egg at Squeezed.

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  • From 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Toups’ Meatery, 845 North Carrollton Ave., will be offering a New Year’s Eve prix-fixe dinner priced at $85 (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity), with an optional wine and cocktail pairing ($40).

It will include Chef Isaac Toups’ Amuse consisting of Murder Point oysters and caviar with sparkling rosé mignonette; a first course choice of duck pastrami & accouterments or Louisiana crab salad with smoked hot peppers; a second course choice of foie gras and head cheese dumplings or charred carrot and white truffle soup; a third course choice of dry aged New York strip with creamed kale and onion strings or seared scallops with white wine and fennel broth with swiss chard; and a fourth course choice of a trio of chocolate truffles or roasted banana zuppa.

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  • On New Year’s Eve, Toups South, located inside of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., will host a firecracking, festive à la carte New Year’s Eve brunch from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., with dishes including smoked foie gras terrine with banana bread, saba and cured egg yolk and Boudin Burritos.

That evening, Chef Isaac Toups invites revelers to indulge in a prix-fixe New Year’s Eve dinner priced at $85 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity), with an optional wine and cocktail pairing ($40). The menu will include an Amuse of smoked Murder Point oyster with champagne granite and caviar; a first course choice of wagyu bresola with arugula, parmesan and cured egg or marinated octopus with olives, trout roe and yucca chip; a second course choice of smoked shrimp and foie gras with toast and brussels sprout kimchi or French onion bone marrow with baguette and chives; a third course choice of black vinegar braised short rib with pearl onions, mascarpone grits and shaved white truffle or white lasagna with mussels, clams, crab and saffron pasta; and a fourth course choice of chocolate cake with amaretto mousse filling, satsuma grenache and toasted almond or satsuma ganache with vanilla bean panna cotta.

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Toups South’s foie gras terrine will be available for its New Year’s Eve brunch on Monday, Dec. 31. CREDIT: Toups South



These local businesses and events are counting down to 2019 with the following plans, products and festivities:


  • PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans opened a new location inside West Jefferson Medical Center at 1101 Medical Center Blvd., in Marrero, just in time to debut the brand’s new beverage for the New Year, the new Nitro Cold Brew.

Now available at all PJ’s Coffee locations across the country, PJ’s Nitro Cold Brew Coffee infuses nitrogen gas into its classic cold brew, creating a creamy, stout-like effect, but with zero calories. The canned nitro coffee is available in Original Cold Brew Coffee and Southern Pecan flavors. The new product is also the first ready-to-drink offering from PJ’s Coffee, founded in New Orleans in 1978.

“We’ve been serving our unique nitro-infused cold brew recipe on tap inside the original PJ’s location on Maple Street in New Orleans since it reopened this fall—and people love it,” said Felton Jones, PJ’s roastmaster. “We knew our flavor profile was something special, and we’re now excited to offer it to all our PJ’s customers.”

“A lot of people enjoy an iced coffee but may not want the extra calories from milk or cream,” said Peter Boylan, president of PJ’s parent company Ballard Brands. “The Nitro Cold Brew is a great option for those looking for their coffee-fix on-the-go while trying to stay healthy.” 

The PJ’s at West Jefferson Medical Center is the third PJ’s location within the LCMC network. The two other PJ’s within LCMC include storefronts at University Medical Center and Touro Infirmary.

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PJ’s Nitro Cold Brew Coffee is made with PJ’s Viennese Blend—100 percent Direct Trade beans from Finca Terrerito in Honduras and Agua Fresca in Nicaragua—before being infused with nitrogen for a smooth texture. CREDIT: PJ’s Coffee


  • Actor Jason Momoa (“Justice League,” “Aquaman”) will be attending Wizard World New Orleans on Friday, Jan. 4, and Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. 

Momoa, who also starred in “Baywatch,” “Stargate: Atlantis” and “Game of Thrones” will greet fans, sign autographs and pose for photos.

Organizers said Wizard World events bring together thousands of fans of all ages, who often dress up as their favorite fantasy characters, to celebrate the best in movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. 

Momoa is scheduled to join “Outlander” stars Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, Lotte Verbeek and Graham McTavish and author Diana Gabaldon, the “Luke Cage” tandem of Mike Colter and Simone Missick, Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal,” “Doctor Strange”) and “The Vampire Diaries” quintet of Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Daniel Gillies, Zach Roerig and David Alpay 

The ninth annual Wizard World New Orleans takes place through Sunday, Jan. 6, and will feature live entertainment, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities and movie screenings hosted by stars and directors. 

Kids aged 10 and under are admitted for free with a paid adult.

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Actor Jason Momoa, who stars in “Aquaman” (in theaters now), will be in New Orleans in 2019 to greet fans, sign autographs and pose for photos at the ninth annual Wizard World New Orleans. CREDIT: Wizard World New Orleans


  • King Cake Hub will launch on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, with a Carnival Kickoff event at its new retail king cake shop at the Mystère Mansion, home of the Mortuary Haunted House, at 4800 Canal St., from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Featuring Benny Grunch and the Bunch, the Panorama Brass Band, Professor Carl Nivale and other special guests, this free celebration will culminate with the cutting of their first piece of king cake of Carnival. 

“We are so excited to partner with one of New Orleans’ iconic historical institutions to sell one of the city’s most iconic treats,” said Will Samuels, owner of King Cake Hub by Pizza Nola. “Folks come from around the world to experience this legendary haunted mansion and innovative escape rooms and it is an honor to be sharing the space with this Mid-City landmark.”

The King Cake Hub will feature more than 28 flavors of king cakes from around New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana’s favorite bakeries including Gambino’s Bakery, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2019. The King Cake Hub will also be the exclusive New Orleans distributor for Cannata’s King Cakes, based out of Houma and Morgan City, and will carry king cakes from Bywater Bakery, Girls Gone Vegan and Hi-Do Bakery.

The King Cake Hub will also feature its own creation – the Epiphany King Cake, developed in partnership with Gambino’s Bakery and described as “a classic dough honoring 70 years of Carnival tradition topped with your new favorite cream cheese icing.”

Samuels announced a new partnership with the Culinary Arts program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), and that he will sell its satsuma almond king cake, a flaky puff pastry with rich almond paste and cream cheese filled with a citrus filling using satsumas supplied by Press Street Gardens.

“NOCCA has one of the city’s most creative king cakes, and we look forward to the opportunity to help support their program,” said Samuels. 

NOCCA will also contribute a king cake to the King Cake Coterie, the exclusive King Cake of the Week club being offered by pre-sale only until Monday, Dec. 31. Each week members of the Coterie will receive a specialty king cake by one of the top bakers in the area made exclusively for the Coterie. Membership in the King Cake Coterie is limited to 200 subscribers.

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NOCCA’s satsuma almond king cake will be available daily at the King Cake Hub. CREDIT: King Cake Hub


  • If one of your 2019 goals is to improve communication between the generations at your workplace, pick up a copy of local Valerie M. Grubb’s “Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality.”

“Managing employees is a challenging endeavor under any circumstances—and it’s even more difficult in the midst of generational culture clash,” said Grubb, a speaker, coach, training expert and principal of HR and operations consulting firm Val Grubb & Associates Ltd. “Millennials have been in the workforce for over 10 years, yet organizations and individual managers still struggle to crack the code for motivating and engaging the largest generation currently in the workforce. Adding to this challenge is the fact that Baby Boomers are not retiring in the droves originally expected. Instead, the average retirement age has steadily been creeping up, and recent stats indicate that this number will continue to rise. Because Boomers are prolonging their time in the workplace, the old business model of ‘the mature retire to make way for the new’ no longer applies. Companies now find themselves with employees from a wider range of ages than ever before.”

Grubb, who held a succession of leadership positions herself at NBC Universal, Oxygen Media, InterActiveCorp and Rolls-Royce, said managers, senior leaders and human resource pros who want to understand their employees’ values, motivations, strengths, shortcomings and career goals will value her book’s well-researched presentation of each generation's history, major influences and interests.

Available in multiple formats (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s), you can contact Grubb directly for your own signed copy.

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“Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality” (Wiley) can help senior leaders, managers and HR professionals in 2019 manage a blended workforce that varies in its work ethic, ideas about work/ life balance and long-term career goals.


  • In 2019, a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) will get the green light from the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) to assess how well the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s current system is working. Each route will be evaluated and suggestions on improving passenger travel time, capacity, and region-wide connectivity will be provided to help enhance services.

“The RTA has long sought to work with surrounding parishes to expand transit opportunities for its riders,” said RTA Board Chairman Flozell Daniels, Jr. “We’re in the business of getting people to work, school, health appointments and cultural activities – and a parish line should not be a barrier for commuters. There’s even more in store next year.”

RTA reps said in 2019 they will continue to explore partnerships with neighboring parishes to enhance regional services. 

The RTA currently serves the City of New Orleans, including the #39 Tulane line to Ochsner, as well as the City of Kenner. JeT serves Jefferson Parish with some connectivity to Orleans Parish.

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  • The Internal Revenue Service is reminding employees whose 2018 federal income tax withholdings unexpectedly fell short of their tax liability for the year, that they can still avoid a tax-time surprise by making a quarterly estimated tax payment directly to the IRS. The lagniappe deadline for making a payment for the fourth quarter of 2018 is Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

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