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Proposed French Quarter Project Faces Vote

The fate of a large Cuban-style chain restaurant proposed in the French Quarter could soon be decided.

The issue will be discussed at Wednesday’s Vieux Carre Commission meeting.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter tells us why the proposed project has been so contentious.

“I do not want all the people and all the overflow from that place on my front steps,” neighbor Sue Meyer said.

Sue Meyer is not mincing words about proposed plans for a restaurant doors down from her French Quarter home.

“I don’t want problems with parking, I don’t want noise and I am not alone,” Meyer said.

Signs of opposition are posted near the proposed sight, located at the corner of Esplanade and North Rampart.

Some neighbors support commercial redevelopment, but say they cannot support Habana Outpost because the current 2-story design will accommodate up to 200 customers.

Meg Lousteau says there are also concerns about usage and design.

“There’s a lot of outdoor seating, it’s very beachy looking; so appropriate for many other locations but not for the most historic neighborhood in the whole city, probably the whole state,” VCPORA representative Meg Lousteau said.

Some neighbors support the project.

“I mean for years it was blighted I mean it was an empty building. there was not business there and now somebody actually wants to put money into the property and get some people jobs and not make it an eyesore like it is,” Rob Romancik said.

“I think some of the opposition isn’t about what it is I want to do; I think it’s what they’ve heard that I’m going to do,” developer Sean Meenan explained.

Meenan says parking accommodations are part of the plan, even though it’s not required.

He’s made other adjustments, and plans to be a good neighbor.

“It’s been a process of collaboration going through the months that this has taken and the project is made better for it,” Meenan said.

Not good enough for this neighbor.

“The bottom line is what he says and what happens are going to be two different things,” Meyer said. “We wish him well somewhere else.”

The Vieux Carre Commission meets Wednesday for what could be a final vote on whether to approve the requested zoning change.