Hello, April! Blue skies and a chilly 75 degrees here today. I’m wearing a sweater. I have lived here too long. Plus, the temperature just dropped about 10 degrees overnight. I’m slow to adjust. Besides, hospitality is not dead in New Orleans, not by a long shot.
People are out and about but New Orleans is eerily quiet. It’s not right. As Melanie told me this morning, “We have another month of this ahead of us.” Oy vey! I don’t even speak Yiddish!
I feel sorry for the Old Road Coffee Shop that opened, like, right when the coronavirus shutdown started. They have a sign in the Esplanade Avenue neutral ground that says they are offering takeout. Otherwise, very few people would know they exist. They are Bayou Road, one block off Esplanade but in a world of their own. I love that part of the neighborhood but it doesn’t get a lot of vehicular or foot traffic. Good thing they have that sign. What else can they do but be open?
I’ve been watching the renovations of their storefront over the months. The building was previously a fence company. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but I’m always happy to see something new added to our neighborhood. Our section of Esplanade Avenue is mostly residential at this stage of its evolution. That may change. I would love to open a bar in the lobby of La Belle Esplanade, but I don’t think the city is going to go for that.
If you are in the neighborhood, get a cup of coffee at Old Road.
HOSPITALITY IS NOT DEAD IN NEW ORLEANS.
I applied for an SBA loan this morning to get us through the next month. We don’t have any guests, we haven’t had any since the middle of March, and we had to refund more deposits than I care to think about. There are still bills to pay, even when the inn is empty. This usually happens in summer, not now, which is the time of year when we make enough money to get us to October, when business picks up again for a month, to get us to January.
Whatever you’ve heard, being an innkeeper is no way to get rich. That’s why most people dream of running a B&B when they retire. When you’ve got a pension coming in, it makes the slow months easier to deal with.
I’ve got some ideas in the hopper to get some money coming in. The unfortunate thing is that, right now, we are selling something that nobody wants to buy. Reservations for later in the year aren’t coming in. Who’s thinking about vacation now? Nobody.
Here is a view of the French Quarter.
This isn’t a tale of woe. Hope dies last and hope springs eternally in New Orleans, The City That Care Forgot. Hospitality isn’t dead in New Orleans, it is just waiting for the chance to exercise it’s muscles and show the world how to have a good time.
We’ll get through this. We hope you will, too. When all this hoopla is said and done, we hope you’ll visit New Orleans to leave your cares behind. You know where you should stay when it’s time for you to visit this wonderful city we call home.
You have two friends on Esplanade Avenue,
–La Belle Esplanade.