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Morning Call will stay put in City Park while lawsuit plays out

Beignet stand was originally supposed to be out by July 21

NEW ORLEANS -- Morning Call is staying put in City Park -- for now, at least.

The beignet stand was supposed to be out of its space in the park’s casino building by July 21, but a lawsuit Morning Call’s owners filed against City Park bought them a little more time.

A hearing was supposed to be held Friday at Civil Court, but that is being rescheduled for a later date, a court spokesman said Wednesday.

“We are going to wait until after the trial before we do anything with Morning Call,” park spokesman John Hopper said.

Morning Call’s owners sued City Park after its board of directors awarded a 10-year contract to Cafe du Monde, which is also named a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks for an injunction that would stop the park from signing the 10-year lease with Cafe du Monde, prohibit them from moving into the casino building and stopping the park from evicting Morning Call.

Morning Call’s owners allege that the park improperly disqualified their bid for the lease, resulting in the loss of space in the park they’ve called home since 2012.

City Park has said Morning Call’s owners failed to show up to a mandatory pre-bid conference. But Bob Hennessey, who owns the beignet stand with his brother, has said they were “late” to that meeting, which ended before anyone could arrive.

Hennessey has said the bid he and his brother submitted would have provided the most money to City Park and that Cafe du Monde’s was not as lucrative.

Attorneys for Morning Call have also argued that Cafe du Monde did not provide the appropriate financial information as part of its bid, and they have written in court papers that there is no state law that requires attendance at pre-bid conferences.

“The bid documents are absolutely clear that there was a mandatory pre-bid meeting,” City Park said in a statement after Hennessey raised concerns about his businesses’ disqualification.

The case has been assigned to Civil Court Judge Christopher Bruno.

Danny Monteverde can be reached at danny@wwltv.com.

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