NEW ORLEANS -- Summers always take their toll on the New Orleans restaurant scene. Multiple eateries have closed their doors this summer, but owners say there are more factors at play than just rising rent.
Douglas Minich owned The Cheezy Cajun on St. Claude with his partner. Sunday was the restaurant’s last day.
For Minich, rent wasn’t a factor in his decision to close.
“Crime has been an issue,” he said. “A lot of people say they don’t go out because they’re worried about the crime. I think the economy has a lot to do with it. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”
They aren’t alone. Café Henri is closing its doors and Oxalis closed in June.
Ian McNulty, food critic for The New Orleans Advocate, says summer is the slow season and the time newer restaurants typically struggle. He also thinks the proliferation of short-term rentals in the Bywater might be playing a role as well, something Minish has also noticed.
“The neighborhood as changed,” Minish said. “A lot of Air BnB’s have come in.”
No matter what the reason, people hwo call the Bywater home hope they don’t have to say goodbye to anymore local restaurants.