BBQ Restaurant goes to war with local NIMBY’s over potential expansion
A group of concerned Mid-City residents gathered at a New Orleans city planning meeting on Tuesday to express their apprehensions regarding Blue Oak BBQ’s expansion plans. The restaurant’s proposed expansion into the space adjacent to Parkview Tavern, a beloved neighborhood establishment, has sparked a heated debate among residents.
The meeting room overflowed with residents eager to voice their concerns, many of whom donned matching T-shirts bearing the slogan Bad Neighbor BBQ and Save Parkview Tavern. Their apprehensions centered on the potential for increased parking issues, traffic congestion, and noise pollution as a result of Blue Oak’s expansion.
In response to these concerns, Blue Oak co-owner Phil Moseley assured the crowd that the restaurant group does not intend to host live entertainment or operate past 9 p.m., aiming to minimize the impact on their residential neighbors.
The restaurant’s consultant, Zach Smith, elaborated on the proposed expansion plan, which includes restoring off-street parking spots that were temporarily repurposed as outdoor seating during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, Laura Barth, the restaurant ownership group’s city permits liaison, revealed that Blue Oak has relocated its food production to a commissary kitchen elsewhere, effectively reducing employee traffic in the neighborhood.
Despite these measures, Elizabeth Boudreaux, secretary of the City Park Neighborhood Association, remained unconvinced, expressing her concern that the expansion would exacerbate traffic congestion in the predominantly residential area.
The City Planning Commission ultimately decided to forward the matter to the New Orleans City Council without further recommendation. The council’s next meeting, scheduled for January 18, 2024, is expected to provide a platform for further discussion and potential action.