NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – There’s a fresh coat of paint, new sign and new faces working for the summer, but opening a new business is business as usual for Wilbert “Chill” Wilson and 4300 South Derbigny in Broadmoor is familiar territory. “It still has the stress lines. I had like eight to ten feet of water in here. It was probably my third or fourth business, I just went into barbering in 2003, I was in this building two years when Katrina hit,” says Wilson.
It has taken eight years of climbing hurdles and overcoming obstacles, but the former Chill’s Barber Shop is now Mr. Chill’s Broadmoor Dogs and Sweet Pastries.
“After Hurricane Katrina I was riding around the streets with my mentor and he told me he said you’re not Chill anymore, you’re Mr. Chill,” he says. “I needed to come back to this neighborhood because it’s where I started at and it means a great deal, not just to me to the community.”
The community has welcomed Wilson back with open arms. “We’re all happy, we signed the petition for him doing this, instead of having an empty building on this corner and sitting there, where we have a lot of abandoned houses around, by him bringing this back it will do something for this neighborhood,” says Eric Boudreaux.
“We’re still showing the world that we’re knocked down and getting back up and sometimes it takes four months other times it takes ten years, it validates me and lets people know like hey, I come from something, “ says Wilson.
Mr. Chill’s Broadmoor Dogs and Sweet Pastries features 11 different specialty hot dogs, po’ boys, French fries and an assortment of cakes, cookies and sweet treats. The location is 4300 S. Derbigny St. (504)899-1408.