Friends with the owner

If you walked into Molly’s on Toulouse and thought that boasting “I’m friends with the owner” would give you any clout, you would be met with four out of five patrons raising their hands and saying, “Us too. What’s your point?”

The passing of Erin Churchill is devastating to so many people that she has touched over the years. Even as a casual acquaintance with Erin, you knew how much of an exceptional person she was. For those of us with a close relationship with her, it is deep personal loss.

It’s a great loss to the French Quarter, a successful business person and a wonderful soul is gone. I could write a thousand words praising her qualities, but they all would fall short of describing her remarkable character.

We are all fortunate to have even known her, we are better people for having done so. There will forever be a void in our lives and in The French Quarter without Erin Churchill.

Erin Churchill, owner of Molly’s on Toulouse, has passed away

Sad news to report: Erin Churchill, co-owner of Molly’s on Toulouse and the Dive Bar, passed away on Saturday. The Quarter Rat learned of Erin’s passing on Sunday morning by an employee. Both bars were closed on Sunday following her death. A cause of death wasn’t immediately determined.

Erin had been the owner-operator of Molly’s and the Dive Bar, along with her husband, Roger, for about 15 years. She was well-known among locals in the French Quarter, where she had bartended for years before becoming owner.

Palace Cafe manager wins national tourism award

Gary J. Wood | CC Flickr
A Palace Cafe kitchen manager was recognized for his contribution to New Orleans tourism during the National Travel and Tourism Week, according to an announcement by the restaurant last week.

Palace Cafe kitchen manager Eric Offray was honored as the NTTW 2023 Tourism Champion during the 40th anniversary of the week, which lasted from May 7-13. Organized by Washington D.C.-based U.S. Travel Association, the week is in its 40th year and is an “annual tradition celebrating the value travel holds our economy, businesses, personal well-being and more,” according to the association’s website.

The Quarter Rat reached out to the Palace Cafe, a Dickie Brennan’s affiliated restaurant located at 605 Canal St., but has not heard back yet.

The restaurant posted a statement to social media on Thursday:

In 1996 he walked through the doors of Palace Café and it changed the course of his life forever. Steve Pettus, then Operations Manager (now partner/owner of Dickie Brennan and Co.), as well as others, saw Eric’s potential and pushed him to excel past his position of warewasher. Eric grew his role to receiver and then Kitchen Manager, where chefs and management alike will attest to his ability to run the wheel and help ensure food service runs smoothly. Eric always has a smile on his face and is willing to go above and beyond to take care of a guest or coworker. In addition to his duties as Kitchen Manager, Eric has been working with our sister restaurants’ heart of the house teams, sharing best practices and processes to ensure the properties are cleaned appropriately. You can ALWAYS count on Eric. Whether it’s outside his normal work schedule or on his day off, if you need help, Eric is there. When he is not working, Eric is also a prominent member of the Zulu Social Club, where he helps with many of their charitable events.

Palace Cafe

‘Minnie and Mickie’ TV show filming scheduled April 6-7 on Royal Street

Parking on Royal Street will be restricted this Thursday and Friday due to a scheduled filming of the TV show “Minnie and Mickie,” according to NZK Production Inc., the company behind the film shoot.

Crews for NZK will be in the 400 block of Royal Street starting at noon on April 6 to about 4 a.m. on April 7 to film scenes of the TV show in the 400 block of Royal Street. Work trucks will be located along the lake side of the block during filming, which will affect parking, according to NZK.

NZK said that film crews base camp and parking will be situated in private lots to minimize the impact of production in the area, and all handicap zones and driveways will be respected.

The production company said that it is working closely with Film New Orleans ask residents with specific concerns to contact NZK as soon as possible, requesting that anyone with loud construction work or large deliveries to let crews know in advance so they can come to a solution.

Anyone with concerns is asked to contact Lina Gasperaviciute, senior field manager, at 323-590-1738, or email at; and Isabella Renner with Film New Orleans at 504-658-4355, or by email at

Popeye’s commercial filming planned for March 29 at Royal, St. Philip streets

No parking signs will be posted and traffic restrictions will be in place near the intersection of Royal and St. Philip streets this Wednesday due to a planned filming for a Popeye’s chicken commercial.

Iconoclast Content, the company in charge of the production, says it will film portions of a Popeye’s commercial near the intersection between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and will be requesting traffic control and lane closures in the northbound/downtown-side lane of the intersection.

In addition, production work trucks and equipment will be posted along the 900-1000 blocks of Royal Street and the 600-700 blocks of St. Philip Street between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Non-rush hour intermittent traffic controls will occur near the intersection of Royal and Ursulines streets, and St. Philip and Bourbon Streets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Security personnel and police officers will be posted nearby to ensure public safety, according to Iconoclast Content, which is working with Film New Orleans and the New Orleans Department of Public Works, among other entities to minimize impact to residents and businesses.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Thomas Peters, location manager, at 504-628-0570 or email at; Preston Trahan, assistant location manager, at 970-948-9392 or email at; Isabella F. Renner, Film New Orleans Production Manager, at 504-295-7734 or email at