WHY IT RATES: New Orleans has a lot going on this month. -Codie Richards, Associate Editor
-We look forward to several new developments this year, including a new airport, cocktail museum, children's museum and more. For a full list of developments, click here.
-New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) will launch its inaugural culinary class this month at 725 Howard Avenue with classes officially beginning January 7th.
-The $32 million culinary and hospitality institute is home to teaching kitchens, a wine and spirits lab, a retail café space, separate classroom and office spaces for NOCHI and Tulane University and an event center on the top floor.
-Starting January 10, a range of enthusiast classes will be offered to locals and visitors alike for those passionate about food, wine and cocktails, looking to improve their skill.
-New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the historic milestone, the festival has added an extra day to the lineup making Thursday, April 25th this year's opening day.
-Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is on track to open the new 972,000 square-foot facility in May 2019.
-This new, world-class terminal complex will completely replace the current facility.
-The $1 billion project includes in-line baggage screening, a consolidated security checkpoint to three concourses and 35 gates, a 2,200-car parking garage and more concessions options located down the center aisle.
-Food and beverage concessions and news, gift and specialty treat retail concessions will feature a mix of local brands representative of Louisiana and New Orleans as well as national brands that appeal to both the local and visiting passengers, including Shake Shack, Mondo, Leah's Kitchen and Midway Pizza.
-The new facility is expected to increase the airport's economic impact by approximately 20 percent in the next five years and will support 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in local spending.
-Mardi Gras season kicks off in New Orleans on Sunday, January 6th, known as Twelfth Night. Parades will continue through Mardi Gras Day on Tuesday, March 5th.
-Carnival Season welcomes more than one million people to the streets of New Orleans.
-The Krewe of Rex chose the colors of Mardi Gras in 1872, with purple representing justice, gold representing power and green representing faith.
-More than 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between January 6th and Fat Tuesday, and another 50,000 are shipping out-of-state via overnight courier.
-Many krewes are known for their unique handmade throws, such as the Krewe of Zulu's coconuts and the Krewe of Muses' shoes.
-This year, many of the smaller more unique walking parades are rolling earlier than usual, like the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, which will parade through the Marigny on February 9th.
For a full list of events, click here.
-Atelier Ace, the creative group behind the Ace Hotel, will open Maison de la Luz, a distinctive new guest house located in the city's Central Business District this April. The new property will feature 67 guest rooms, a library bar and a curated concierge service.
Restaurants and Bars
-The Louisiana Children's Museum has announced that it will partner with local restaurant group Dickie Brennan & Co. for the onsite restaurant, Acorn. It is set to open with the Museum in late summer 2019.
-The full-service café will have seating for 165. There will also be a kid's culinary lab and child size booths.
-Acorn will serve fresh, family-friendly cuisine, utilizing local ingredients, some sourced from as nearby as the edible garden at the museum. In addition to the menu, there will be fresh "grab and go" options.
-Chef Donald Link is gearing up to open his latest concept, Gianna, an Italian restaurant.
-James Beard Award-winning Chef Rebecca Wilcomb will be the executive chef.
-The location is on the corner of Magazine and Girod streets in the newly built Kalorama building.
-Chef Justin Devillier and his wife Mia Freiberger-Devillier will open their third restaurant, Justine, in the coming months. Justine, located in the French Quarter at 225 Chartres Street, will be a brasserie offering contemporary interpretations of classic French fare.
-Tales of the Cocktail will open its own bar taking over the former home of Pigeon & Prince, an events space in the Central Business District.
-The four-floor venue will be called Storyteller X Tales ("Storyteller by Tales") and will be the future home to private events, classes and the Tales of the Cocktail Bar, which is expected to open in the coming months.
-French Brasserie Couvant recently opened in the Eliza Jane Hotel, serving simple brasserie fare with relevant renditions of iconic French dishes. The restaurant also features a six-seat raw bar.
-Bacchanal Wine Bar and Chef Alex Harrell is the force behind the Elysian Bar which recently opened in the Hotel Peter and Paul. The concept is a small plates only menu influenced by Southern staples.
-Saint Germain Wine Bar recently opened its doors in the Bywater at 3054 St. Claude Avenue. The 1700-square foot space features a cozy dining room with roughly a dozen seats and an open outdoor patio where guests can enjoy drinks and bistro style small plates.
-Warbucks, the new concept from Executive Chef-Owner Todd Pulsinelli recently opened at 3218 Magazine Street, featuring a creative menu and playful atmosphere. Warbucks is a representation of everything Chef Pulsinelli enjoys-hip-hop music, skateboarding, comradery, family and great food and drink.
New Direct Flights
-Spirit Airlines announced two new daily nonstop flights from Denver International Airport (DEN) to New Orleans and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ATX) to New Orleans, both beginning on February 14th, 2019.
-Allegiant Air announced a new seasonal nonstop flight from Louisville International Airport (SDF) to New Orleans beginning February 28th, 2019 through May 5th, 2019. The flight will be offered twice weekly on Sundays and Thursdays.
-Spirit Airlines announced a new seasonal nonstop flight from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to New Orleans beginning on May 2nd, 2019.
Meetings and Conventions
Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) includes:
-Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting January 2nd - 6th
-Hot Topics: Narratives about Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence: #MeToo, The Kavanaugh Allegations & Pending Changes to Titles IX Enforcement
-Hot Topics: NAFTA 2.0: Are we Building or Burning Bridges with USMCA
-Projected attendance: 3,200
-New Orleans Comic ConJanuary 4th - 6th
Special Guest: Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Cast from the Vampire Diaries, Cast from Outlander, Diana Gabaldon (Author of Outlander) and more celebrity guests.
-Projected attendance: 25,000
-American Correctional Association Winter Conference January 11th - 15th
-One of the most attended corrections events in the industry. No other conference in the world offers the variety of opportunities for people in the corrections profession to learn, grow and network.
-Projected attendance: 6,000
-American Farm Bureau Annual ConventionJanuary 11th - 16th
-The band Sixwire from the television show "Nashville" to perform Monday, January 14th (this is a ticketed event that all are welcome to experience)
-Projected attendance: 6,000
-IBM Fast Start January 21st - 24th
-Projected attendance: 4,200
-National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show January 30th - February 1st
-One of NCBA's largest events on record
-Big & Rich to perform Friday night
-Projected attendance: 10,000
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