After a contentious neighborhood and city council battle for the approval of the Habana Outpost, a Cuban restaurant planned for the corner of Esplanade Avenue and North Rampart Street, prompting dozens of supporters to break out in cheers, the project is suddenly in limbo again.
Four months ago, the Vieux Carre Commission approved the restaurant’s development. Subsequently, a minority of residents and neighborhood groups filed appeals with the City Council to overturn the VCC’s approval. The council was scheduled to vote on those appeals Thursday (Dec. 18), but developer Sean Meenan withdrew his design application for the restaurant on Wednesday.
The Times-Picayune reports that “after a lengthy meeting with neighbors opposed to the project, Meenan felt it was best to continue those discussions so they can come up with a design that is agreeable to everyone involved and wouldn’t cause any tension or negative blowback in the community.”
If the council had voted to overturn the VCC’s approval, the restaurant would have been dead. By withdrawing his application, Meenan can resubmit the same plan for Habana Outpost at any time. From NOLA.com:
Habana Outpost was planned to occupy an abandoned gas station at 1040 Esplanade Ave. and a vacant building at 1310 N. Rampart St. Meenan purchased the buildings for more than $1.7 million and bought an additional property at 1036 Esplanade Ave. for $510,000 that he plans to use for residential and commercial purposes.
The business is designed to have a seating capacity of between 205 and 223 customers. Meenan has said he has an agreement in place to use the former site of Ty’s Auto Sales in the 1400 block of North Rampart Street as a parking lot for up to 50 vehicles.