Matassa’s Market reopens in the French Quarter with new operators

(Photo: Infrogmation | CC)
Matassa’s Market, grocery store located at the intersection of Dauphine and St. Philip streets, reopened earlier this month.

The market, located at 1001 Dauphine St., reopened several weeks ago after its owners leased it to new operators, according to nola.com.

Owners Louis Matassa and partner Vincent Catalanatto Jr. shuttered the business in January, although the exact reasons weren’t immediately clear at the time. Many believed the store would join other neighborhood businesses that closed permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent government restrictions.

But Matassa and Catalanotto, who own the building, leased it to Richard Djapni, a Monroe-based pharmacist who also operates several grocery stores throughout Louisiana.

Matassa is a third-generation owner of the store. His father, Cosimo, opened a recording nearby on North Rampart Street in the 1940s and worked with artists such as Little Richard, Allan Toussaint, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and others. The grocery store was started by Giovanni Matassa, Cosimo’s father, in 1924.

Tahyo Tavern on Decatur Street closes

(Photo: Google Maps)
Tahyo Tavern, the Lower Decatur Street bar operated by Tia Torres from Villalobos Rescue Center, closed last month due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Located at 1140 Decatur Street, Tahyo Tavern cited limited capacity from the coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses in the French Quarter, according to statement posted to social media Dec. 26.

Calls and emails seeking comment from Tahyo Tavern were not returned.

Read Tahyo Tavern’s full statement:

Tujague’s restaurant reopens new location along Decatur Street

(Photo: Tujague’s former location, looking in the direction of its new spot. | Dave Minsky)
Tujague’s reopened Monday at its newest location, 429 Decatur St., after relocating from its previous location four blocks away. The restaurant announced its reopening on social media last week.

The restaurant was formerly located at 823 Decatur St., where it operated for more than 100 years, or since 1914. The plan to relocate was reported in October 2019 and Tujague’s last dinner was held in June.

Opening week hours are Monday through Wednesday, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Thursday (New Year’s Eve) from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday (New Year’s Day) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Reservations are currently accepted, including for New Year’s Eve.

Tujague’s was founded by French immigrants Guillaume and Marie Abadie Tujague, who opened the restaurant in 1856. It’s known as the “second oldest” restaurant in New Orleans.

Other than its longevity, Tujague’s is noted for its historic furniture, including the “oldest” stand-up bar and a mirror imported from Paris, which predates the restaurant and, allegedly, the U.S. itself, according to its website.

In addition, the grasshopper cocktail, a cocktail typically made with creme de menthe, creme de cacao and cream is believed to be invented here.

A farewell to the old Tujague’s. Gif courtesy of Eric T. Styles.

Harry’s Corner, French Quarter locals bar, reopens Dec. 31

(Photo courtesy of Kevin Minsky)
Harry’s Corner, located at 900 Chartres St., quietly announced that it will be reopening on New Year’s Eve.

The bar located on the corner of Dumaine and Chartres streets will reopen at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31, according to an inconspicuous hand-written sign posted the front entrance.

“Harry’s will be reopening. Hope to see you thirsty souls. Stay safe,” according to the notice posted on the door.

The announcement follows an update by bar management Nov. 22 on an upcoming opening date.

In September, the bar said it would reopen once 50% indoor capacity is allowed.

New Orleans remains in a “modified Phase 2” of coronavirus restrictions, allowing indoor capacity at 50%, among other rules.

Harry’s closed shortly after non-essential businesses closed following a shut down order in March due to COVID-19 and hasn’t reopened since.

“Harry’s remains temporarily closed for the protection of both our employees and our customers,” Cynthia Nelson said on Harry’s social media page May 15. “We will continue to monitor the situation. Hope everyone remains safe and healthy and look forward to seeing you all before long.”

Harry’s Corner, 900 Chartres St., New Orleans; 504-524-1107



Rouse’s Market on Royal Street closed for renovations until Dec. 21

(Photo: Rouse’s Market at Royal and St. Peter streets. | Ken Lund | CC Flickr)
Rouse’s Market, located at 701 Royal St., has closed for renovations and will reopen later this month.

The grocery store located at the intersection of Royal and St. Peter streets will reopen on Dec. 21, according to a notice posted to the front entrance.

In the meantime, alternative locations to make groceries in the Vieux Carre include the French Market — or Matassa’s, and other corner stores — or Walgreens, which one resident described as “like shopping at a vending machine.”