NEW ORLEANS -- If you walked by Byblos Restaurant on Magazine Street, you would find little sign of the armed robbery that took place Tuesday night.
Foot traffic was the usual in the 3200 block of Magazine. The lunch crowd seemed steady. But stop by next door the Bulldog, and general manager Joey Knesel can explain the mood immediately following the robbery.
"Stuff just got real," said Knesel.
Several businesses including the Bulldog and Reginelli's Pizzeria were placed on lockdown as police searched the area for the armed suspect. A sizeable force of police took to the streets.
"In the Garden District and through the Irish Channel out here it's been fairly quiet all the way back since Katrina, and I think the reason why the cops responded in such force is to kind of reaffirm that fact," said Knesel.
According to New Orleans police, the armed robbery took place around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. An armed suspect went inside and demanded the manager take out money from a safe. The manager did so and the suspect then fled.
While the armed robbery caused concern, it didn't cause a lot shock or surprise.
"This is something that can happen anywhere I figure. We already take precautions and keep the back doors locked and everything. It's just probably being a little bit more aware now," said Travis Rhodes, manager at Reginelli's on Magazine.
Crime statistics indicate violent offenses like armed robbery in New Orleans have been declining the past two years. Magazine Street, the Garden District and the Irish Channel have often been considered safe areas. But as Tuesday's armed robbery showed, they are not immune to crime.
Both NOPD and Byblos declined to comment on the armed robbery.
As of Wednesday, police have yet to release the suspect's description.