I stopped by Motown Coney Island for a hot dog the other day but they were not quite ready to open yet. The man there said they would be open by July 27th. There are some internet offers below that can get you a sneak peek before then.

Motown Coney Island
1155 North Broad | New Orleans
(504) 482-6118



Business Breakfast

breakfast-businessClick the graphic for a larger view.

Breakfast with Fran
Small Business Networking Event
Thursday | December 13th | 7:30 a.m.

You must RSVP by calling 504-813-1442 or by email at [email protected]

Crescent City Steaks is hosting “Breakfast with Fran,” an opportunity for business owners to network and discuss relevant and important business topics. Fran Tarkenton, CEO of, will be speaking with a special guest via webcast with motivation, tips, and ideas for running your small business. The event will be on Thursday, December 13, at 7:30 am, at Crescent City Steaks at 1001 N. Broad Street.


Crescent_City_SteaksOn 19 March 2010, Jeffrey Schwartz, BCC’s Executive Director, sat down with Krasna Vojkovich, owner of the Broad Street restaurant institution Crescent City Steaks, for a StoryCorps interview. Krasna’s enthralling stories ranged from her life in the former Yugoslavia after World War II, her marriage to Johnny Vojkovich, and their founding of Crescent City Steaks in 1934, to owning and operating an iconic business, Ruth Fertel and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and raising a family on N Broad Street through the 20th Century.

Please visit the link below to hear the interview:

Krishna Flyer Spurs Controversy

2012 Krishna flyer below

<---Click on the 2012 Krishna flyer for a larger view.

The flyer from the Krishnas that you can view in the link below specifically mentions that the court case affects their ability to sell food. The city council passed a law cracking down on aggressive solicitation, and the Hare Krishnas are seeking to have it overturned.

The Krishnas are filing Civil Action Number 71-684. The Deputy City Attorneys came to the following conclusion concerning this issue:
The plaintiffs have failed to plead that they have standing in the present action and have failed to plead a cause of action. The Aggressive Solicitation Ordinance does not violate the plaintiffs First Amendment rights as it places reasonable content-neutral time, manner and place restrictions that serve a compelling governmental interest. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Complaint ought to be dismissed. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ACTUAL COURT DOCUMENTS

In the link please find the plaintiff’s argument (Krishnas) and the defendants response (City of NO). The Krishnas filed their complaint in response to City Ordinance 28682 which prohibits agressive solicitation. The ordinance is also included in the PDF.

The Krishnas distributed the flyer in the link below in order to drum up support. The flyer states, “Judge Lemmon will make very important decisions which determine whether the Hare Krishnas can collect funds for their free food programs.”

Based on the misleading information distributed in the Krishna flyer, neighbors voiced their concerns. FSJNA obtained the court documents in this link on April 9, 2012 and the issue was discussed at the April 9, 2012 FSJNA Board meeting.


Residents claim the Krishnas at 2936 Esplanade Avenue have caused parking problems, committed building code violations, stripped gardens to decorate their altar and brought transients into the neighborhood with their free meal program.

On September 19, 1983, the Krishnas appeared before the Board of Zoning Adjustments asking to build a small addition to their temple. The board denied the request, in part because the addition would have extended over the Krishna’s property line.

Members of the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association appeared at the meeting with a petition signed by 46 residents, saying the Krishnas are a detriment to the neighborhood.

The Krishnas own the Esplanade temple and rent 22 apartments in 10 buildings in the vacinity, most of them on Gayoso, Desoto and Crete streets. In New Orleans, it is illegal for more than four unrelated adults to live together.

Click here for the extensive article about the Krishnas operation in the October 9, 1983 Times Picayune.


Neighbors report:
Krishnas yelling to get each other’s attention at all hours of the night, play loud music, use vacuum cleaners on the cabs at 3 am and park next to fire hydrants and in driveways of others.

Krishnas 2007


The flyer from the Krishnas that you can view in the link below specifically mentions that the court case affects their ability to sell food. The city council passed a law cracking down on aggressive solicitation, and the Hare Krishnas are seeking to have it overturned.

The Krishnas add to the eclectic mix of people in Faubourg St. John but the neighbors don’t like the negative impact their actions have on the quality of life in their neighborhood.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

New Orleans Enjoys Startup Boom

Dean Burridge sent in this NPR post.
Photo by Charlie London

New Orleans has long been known as one of America’s hardest luck cities, struggling over the years with poverty, crime, corruption and tragic disaster. But the city’s darkest days have sparked a surprising new entrepreneurial spirit.

Residents Billy Bosch and Matt Mouras, for example, are trying to launch a nutritional beverage company and are getting a leg up from Idea Village, a nonprofit that helps nurture the city’s entrepreneurs.
“We have people that have had experience building businesses, people that have already gone through the process that are coaching us. And they’re also extremely connected locally. They can put us in touch with the resources we need as a startup,” Mouras says.

Idea Village co-founder and CEO Tim Williamson says the organization has helped some 1,100 businesses get off the ground.

“It’s meant to be a place for you to trust your crazy ideas,” Williamson says.

And some of those ideas are taking hold. Inc. magazine has called New Orleans “the coolest startup city in America.”

Williamson says it’s no coincidence the entrepreneurial boom came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“Katrina did many, many things, but one is the next day everyone became an entrepreneur. We were all starting over in some way,” Williamson says. New Orleans was closed, he says, so there was nothing to lose by trying something new.

Allison Plyer, deputy director of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, says that entrepreneurial spirit was never part of the climate here before.

“New Orleans historically has been very much a third-world economy; the exploitation of raw materials, in our case, oil [and] cheap labor. So there wasn’t a lot of drive to innovate,” Plyer says.

Plyer says that before 2005, when Katrina struck, New Orleans lagged the nation in startups. Now the city exceeds the national average by about 30 percent.

The new ventures include software companies, digital media firms and industries that have developed to handle some of the problems Katrina posed; water management and education reform, for example.

Young people have flocked to the city, most of them with college degrees, reversing a decades-old brain-drain problem. Jessica Shahien, 25, left for college and had no intention of coming back home.

“I saw New Orleans as kind of a corrupt, sort-of backwards place. I wasn’t going to inherit a family business, I wasn’t going to go into hospitality or oil and gas, so why would I stay?” Shahien says.

But she says Katrina rekindled her connection to the city. Now she’s running 504Ward, a play on the New Orleans area code. It’s a brain-gain initiative aimed at keeping young adults in the city.

You can be a 20- or 30-something and really make a difference really quickly. They come thinking it will be an adventure, and then they have the opportunity to do something they would have to wait 10 years in another city to do,” Shahien says.

Nolan Rollins, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, has been working to make sure the city leverages the post-Katrina investment and new business climate, and that minorities aren’t left out.

“This is our ‘Go West, young man.’ This is really the opportunity to make a difference from a generational standpoint,” Rollins says. “If we aren’t making sure they’re a part of the new economy, we’re going to destabilize our economy, there’s going to be no ability for the city to actually grow.”

And that’s been a challenge with the entrepreneurial boom, says Plyer.
“It is not including a lot of the longtime residents of New Orleans. So it’s primarily white folks,” Plyer says. “There are not a lot of African-Americans who are involved in the ecosystem as it’s getting developed.”

Painter Myesha Francis, 32, with her own gallery in the arts district, is an exception. Francis doubts she’d own her own business by now if she hadn’t gotten a start two years ago at the Entergy Innovation Center in the 9th Ward, one of several entrepreneurial hubs in the city.

“I don’t think it would have happened this fast, because the Innovation Center made it possible for me to have the space and be able to work because the rent was reasonable,” Francis says.
Now she’s in a prime location but does struggle to find enough business. “People still spend along color lines; along who they like, who they know, who they don’t know,” she says.

She says some of the city’s old ways hang on. Francis has had to turn to nontraditional lenders, for example, to borrow money for her business. Venture capital has long been the missing piece in the economy here. But even that’s changing, as new angel investors look to fund nontraditional companies.

Clayton White is co-founder of the year-old South Coast Angel Fund.
“You don’t have to be connected to the right rich person to get investment. Now you just need to know we exist,” White says.
The state has helped with angel tax credits and other incentives for startups. And it has invested nearly $50 million in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center; four stories of modern lab suites designed to commercialize technologies coming out of local universities.

“A lot of the research that was being done down here would just remain in the lab or sit in filing cabinets, or it was being licensed away,” says Aaron Miscenish, president of the downtown center.

Now, young graduates can work on scientific breakthroughs right here in New Orleans; by testing old DNA samples that would otherwise be sitting, gathering dust.

For example, a company called InnoGenomics is trying to develop new DNA marker systems to work even in disaster conditions. The idea came to InnoGenomics CEO Sudhir Sinha after he was unable to identify victims of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans’ future depends on keeping and growing this kind of intellectual talent, says Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc., an economic development alliance.

“How do we ensure that this new culture, which is forward leaning, which is optimistic, becomes the permanent new New Orleanian culture and is not just a bit of rebuilding euphoria?” Hecht says.

He’s hoping the city’s low cost of living and famed lifestyle will help. For someone under 35, he says, the ability to make a meaningful impact and also have fun is a “pretty unbeatable cocktail.” Pun intended, he says.