Shop: True Religion in the Astor Crown Plaza Hotel
Vernon, California-based jeans retailer True Religion just opened its first Louisiana store on Canal Street Downtown. The Downtown Development District, Astor and Terremark Partners have been working tirelessly to attract national retailers back to “Touro Row,” and, with the arrival of True Religion, it is anticipated that additional quality brands will follow suit. “The opening of the first urban concept True Religion store in New Orleans is a sign of our strength and of opportunity.” says Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
True Religion launched its first jeans store in 2002 touting their premium denim, a design unique to the global industry. The company’s quality craftsmanship and style quickly took hold in the fashion world and beyond, gaining the brand popularity at a breakneck pace. Today, True Religion has approximately 900 boutiques and specialty stores in 50 different countries. For their first Louisiana store, True Religion invested $200,000 on the build out on the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets. “We are so proud to be part of the rejuvenation of this historic corridor,” says True Religion CEO John Ermatinger.
739A Canal St., (504) 702-1458, truereligion.com
Stay: Catahoula Hotel
An abandoned set of townhouses originally built in 1845 on Union Street in the Central Business District has been lovingly restored and re-imagined into a 35-room boutique hotel dubbed the Catahoula. Unlike other more recent developments in the Downtown area, the Catahoula Hotel, specifically its facade, blends in almost seamlessly and feels like a destination that has always been here. Inside, the furniture, fabrics and colors flaunt a slightly more modern sensibility, though many accents of classic New Orleans architecture remain.
The Catahoula Hotel also offers delicious amenities to their guests and visitors, including a coffee shop; a pisco bar; a small cafe; and a lush, relaxing rooftop terrace. The coffee shop brews are created from PT’s Coffee, a roaster out of Topeka, Kansas, and are pulled from Synesco equipment and a state-of-the-art batch dripper made by Fetco. If you’re feeling peckish, the cafe menu features Peruvian-inspired cuisine (and drink at the pisco bar) that include dishes like spicy gazpacho, different types of causa — a Peruvian street food made from golden potatoes — and tiradito or sashimi made with Gulf shrimp or the fresh catch of the day. 914 Union St., (504) 603-2442, catahoulahotel.com
Dine: Magasin Kitchen
Opened at the end of last year, Magasin Kitchen is a new Vietnamese restaurant located in The Paramount, a huge residential and retail complex that was launched last year in the newly dubbed South Market District. Kim Nguyen, who is also owner of Magasin Cafe on Magazine Street, has kept a lot of the menu items from the original location, but there is also an emphasis on home-cooked meals like a traditional congee with salted pork. Hungry neighborhood denizens and visitors can now get their fill with plenty of pho, vermicelli bowls and rice plates, signature spring rolls and the ubiquitous Vietnamese po-boy — the banh mi. 611 O’Keefe Ave., (504) 571-5677, magasincafe.com