NEW ORLEANS -- Politics and celebrity intersected at the New Orleans City Council chambers, as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees appeared before the council Thursday.
He was looking to get approval to open a sandwich shop in the Uptown neighborhood where he lives.
'I'm proud to live there and I certainly love it -- and for that reason, would never be involved with anything or would want to bring anything to the community that I felt like would be a detriment to the community,' he said.
Brees wants to open a second franchise of Jimmy John's, a sandwich shop, on Maple Street. He already has one in Metairie.
'I feel like we have done everything that we have been asked to do, certainly in that neighborhood, to respect the area, to create jobs, to bring commerce, to do all those things that we would want to do in creating a business,' Brees said, 'and this is hopefully our next location in bringing that to Uptown and we hope to bring that to the New Orleans community.'
However, some of the people who live on and around Maple Street are not happy about the idea.
'We have a major parking problem already in our neighborhood,' said Kirk Groome, who lives near where the shop would be located.
Others told the council they are worried that those who will be delivering sandwiches on bicycles could become attract crime to the Maple Street corridor.
'We already have enough fast food and alcoholic beverage and traffic and crime problems in our area,' said Uptown resident Dorothea Martin. 'We do not need to increase it with bicycle riders riding around, obviously, with cash in hand.'
In the end, though, council members unanimously approved the establishment of the Jimmy John's.
'Since Mr. Brees has a track record already with a successful shop that has not had problems in the Metairie area, I think the council will agree it's a very nice renovation of an old home,' said Councilwoman Susan Guidry.
After the vote, Brees said, 'Our intentions are pure. We're proud of our business and we'll continue to grow it.'
The planning commission was not able to come to a consensus on a recommendation for the Jimmy John's on Maple Street. The council's decision means that the home now at that address can open as the sandwich shop.
Here's a photo of the location for Brees Jimmy John's on Maple Street: