NEW ORLEANS — The 70124 area code is Lakeview. We want to focus on Harrison Avenue - like a lot of New Orleans neighborhoods, the avenue has everything you need: churches, a grocery store, restaurants, boutiques, doctor's offices, banks, work out centers, etc.
"The Past two years, you can really see where the lots are starting to get built on and the families are moving in and the businesses are kinda reacting to that. And more are coming down here," says local restaurant owner Mike Gowland.
Mike Gowland, better known as Fireman Mike after spending two decades on the NOFD, opened Fireman Mike's Cafe and Sweet Shop on West Harrison a few months ago.
Earning his reputation as a Jazz Fest Food Vendor for nearly two decades, when Fireman Mike decided to open his own restaurant -- he did so in his neighborhood.
"I want where I live and my family lives to be a great place. So I just thought If I could add something to it it'd be a great thing to do."
The east end of Harrison Avenue, between Canal and City Park, got a facelift after Hurricane Katrina with nice landscaping, neutral ground parking, brick sidewalks and street lamps. With popular places to eat and shop like Velvet Cactus and Little Miss Muffin - that end of Harrison has been established.
Mid-Harrison, between Ponchartrain Blvd. and Canal Blvd., has seen its fair share of growth. With District donuts, several boutiques, El Gotto Negro recently went through a big renovation, and the family behind Katie's Restaurant in Mid-City opened a new Italian style deli called Francesca's. That's just to name a few.
Now, West Harrison between the levy and Ponchartrain is seeing more and more new attractions.
"It's been a slow, gradual kind of thing, but I think it's on the fast track right now."
A strip mall is being built next to Fireman Mike's Cafe & Sweet Shop - owned by the family of Tony Angelo. On the other side of that is Cookie Dough Bliss. Across the street The Backyard has a great space outback for kids to play while parents enjoy good food, the ball game and craft beer. And the owners of CAVA, which is located on Harrison's more established side, realized the growth on the west end and are now opening up a family-friendly sports restaurant on the corner of Harrison and Ponchartrain.
"So every part of Harrison is coming along good, but west Harrison we're real proud of."
For Fireman Mike it's a family affair with his wife, daughters and some grandchildren working for him. He says that's the feel of the 70124 - with the residents of the neighborhood supporting their local businesses.
WWL-TV reporter Leslie Spoon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow her on Twitter at @LeslieSpoonWWL