Golden Lantern Bar launches GoFundMe to prevent permanent closure due to COVID-19 restrictions

(Photo: Callie Reed | CC Flickr)
The Golden Lantern Bar, located at 1239 Royal St., has established a GoFundMe page to raise money as it struggles to avoid permanent shutdown due to the COVID-19 business restrictions.

The bar was forced to shutter entirely following coronavirus-related bar closures and the New Orleans city ban on to-go alcohol.

The bar weathered the initial storm, receiving a PPP loan, but only kept the establishment afloat for two and a half months. Much of the funds were spent on making the bar safer for patrons, including the purchases of thermometers, sanitizing stations and other items, according to the bar.

The GoFundMe, which was created on Aug. 12, has raised more than $7,300 out of a $60,000 goal.

Despite the Golden Lantern’s closure, bills still must be paid.

Opening in 1964, the gay-friendly Golden Lantern was the original home of Southern Decadence, according to the bar.

“The reality is, the bills (rent, insurance, utilities, taxes, etc) continue to pour in. Despite being closed, Entergy and SWBNO bills are somehow much higher than usual. Without income or additional resources available, The Golden Lantern is struggling to keep its head above water. With expenses over $20,000+ a month and no income expected any time soon, options are running out.”

Golden Lantern Bar

To donate, visit Golden Lantern Bar’s GoFundMe page.

Betty’s Bar and Bistro, formerly 700 Club, closes permanently due to COVID-19 restrictions

Crews demolish large portion of Hard Rock Hotel building

(Photo: Infrogmation of New Orleans | CC Flickr)
New Orleans crews demolished a large portion of the Hard Rock Hotel building as part of a controlled operation on Thursday.

The portion was a part of the Burgundy Street side of the hotel, according to WWL. The entire 18-story structure is in the process of being completely demolished.

The Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed on Oct. 12, 2019, killing three workers and injuring more than a dozen people.

Watch a video of the demolition, courtesy of WWL:

Body of Jose Ponce Arreola recovered from Hard Rock Hotel collapse 10 months later

Re-open Our City protest event planned for Saturday at Canal and Bourbon streets

(New Orleans residents protested the city’s COVI-19 restrictions on bars and music clubs Sept. 19 | Eric T. Styles)
A protest against the COVID-19 shutdowns on New Orleans bars and nightclubs is planned for Saturday, Sept. 26 at the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets.

The Re-Open Our City protest is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. near CVS. Organized by Todd C. Aurand, whose objective is to “re-open and restore the very essence” of the city following the COVID-19 shutdown restrictions instituted by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

It’s the second such event since Sept. 19, when about 40 people gathered near the same intersection to demand city officials allow French Quarter and other city businesses to reopen.

Aurand encourages participants to bring signs, banners and flags that support local business reopenings, but not to bring any political signs, such as ones showing support for Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

“No politics, just business,” event’s Facebook page says.

Aurand gave a statement to The Quarter Rat:

I’m Todd Charles Aurand, a cook at a bar and grill still closed by the restrictions imposed by Mayor Cantrell. I am a Navy veteran who moved here in 2009. I was amazed and captivated by the life and culture of New Orleans. Aside from the historic beauty, bars and music were abound. I fell in love with a city for the first time, having grown up in the suburbs in New Jersey, I never thought it would be possible for me to love a city at all.

Since the restrictions of the pandemic, I have seen all that cultural beauty and vibrance just about disappear. I’ve seen a rise in violent crime. I’ve seen long time neighborhood bars close their doors for good, and several other businesses fold under the restraints also.

Being an admirer of military histories, I often think in terms more relative to an army, and in this case, The People of New Orleans are that army. An army travels on its stomachs, and as Napoleon once said about his retreat from Russia, “There is no atrocity unimaginable to a starving army.”

Ladies and Gentleman, If you don’t understand, We The People of New Orleans are starving from these restrictions and violent crime is on the rise. Desperation grows as the Unemployment and Lost Wage Assistance are running out.

We cannot afford to lose any more of our places of business, our places of employment, our hangout spots. We can’t lose everything that makes New Orleans a great place to visit. I don’t want us to become the “Detroit of the South.”

I want to see and hear all the things that made me fall in love with New Orleans again.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Dozens gather at Jackon Square to protest police violence, Breonna Taylor indictment
“I have been watching friends of mine suffer from this lockdown against tourism and the attack on music”: residents protest COVID-19 restrictions in French Quarter

Dozens gather at Jackon Square to protest police violence, Breonna Taylor indictment

(Photo courtesy of Todd Aurand)
Dozens of demonstrators gathered at Jackson Square Wednesday to protest police violence hours after a Kentucky ex-cop was indicted in connection to the shooting of Breonna Taylor but ultimately cleared of her death.

At least three dozen people gathered at Washington Artillery Park and the Decatur Street entrance to Jackson Square at about 7:30 p.m.

Three speakers addressed the crowd for several minutes before marching towards the Central Business District.

“I think most of us knew that it was going to be fucked up today,” one speaker said. “[For] those of us who have been paying attention, I think we knew that today was going to be not what Breonna Taylor deserved.”

Taylor, 26-year-old certified emergency medical technician, an was shot and killed during a botched police raid on her apartment on March 13.

A grand jury cleared all three officers who fired their guns in the raid—onathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove—but returned an indictment against Hankison for allegedly shooting his gun into the apartment next to Taylor’s.

Wednesday’s announcement sparked protests in various cities across the country, including in Louisiville, where two officers were shot during the unrest.

UPDATED March to protest music restrictions, bar shutdowns planned for Saturday in the French Quarter

Arnaud’s Restaurant scheduled to open main dining room October 1; Bayona reopens

(Photo: Michael Homan | CC Flickr)
A French Quarter restaurant reopened and another is scheduled to open its doors to the public in October following at least six months of temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arnaud’s Restaurant, located at 813 Bienville St., announced Sept. 13 that it will reopen a la carte service in its main dining room on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Dinner reservations will be available from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and for Jazz Brunch from 10 a.m. to to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The restaurant previously announced that opened for private dining on Sept. 12, 19 and 26, and in June.

In addition, the restaurant’s French 75 bar reopened on Saturday and will again on Sept. 26 from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

The bar will offer a limited menu featuring “all” of its classic cocktails, including the Bon Vivant (rye, brandy, bitters, vermouth and Italian liqueur) and the Arnaud’s Special (scotch whiskey, wine-based aperitif, bitters and apricot liqueur); and souffle potatoes.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by emailing, calling 504-523-5433 or via OpenTable.

Private dining reservations with a “quarantine krewe”are available and can be made by calling 504-523-0611 or emailing

Additionally, Bayona, located at 430 Dauphine St., reopened on Friday, Sept. 18.

The James Beard award-winning restaurant opened for happy hour Wednesday through Saturday, 3 to 5:30 p.m., and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch is open from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.

Reservations can be made via

Both restaurants closed for indoor dining in mid-March following coronavirus-related shutdown orders.

Antoine’s Restaurant, Mena’s Palace to reopen this week after temporarily closing due to COVID-19 restrictions
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Pat O’brien’s bar reopen