Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Orleans restaurants batten down

The Big Easy's celebrated restaurant industry certainly hasn't had an easy time of it. Now, three years after the Big One, comes The Even Bigger One, a storm that's been described by New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin as "the storm of the century." This from a man who was on the ground during Katrina.

It comes as no surprise, then, that the city's restaurants are shutting down and encouraging their staffs to seek safety. An AP story said that Arnaud's, one of the landmark places, threw away some of its food and donated the rest to local fire departments. Why suffer that degree of spoilage, as so many places did in 2005. And the local newspaper, The Times-Picayune, has this to say about other establishments there.

The Scoop, by the way, was launched in the wake of Katrina as a service to the local industry there. Though it wouldn't take that name for awhile, the blog was intended to serve as a bulletin board of sorts, where New Orleans restaurateurs and restaurant employees could reconnect. Our hope was to let employers and employees know of each other's safety, and then to start addressing such nuts-and-bolts matters as getting paychecks or seeing about healthcare coverage. We also hoped to put employees in touch with other restaurants that might be able to add them to the payroll while their prior employer was getting on its feet.

This is a helluva way to celebrate the anniversary of NRN's first blog. Hopefully, this time it'll be filled with stories of how astutely the city contended with a natural disaster, and how quickly it rebounded.

We wish everyone down there the best of luck. Needless to say, if this space can be used in any way to help the members of New Orleans' restaurant industry, just let me know, either through a comment here, or by e-mailing me at

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