After a two-year hiatus, Morning Call Coffee Stand’s beloved beignets and cafe au lait find a new home. The new Morning Call Coffee Stand officially opens at 5101 Canal Boulevard.
Morning Call’s iconic neon coffee cup sign signals its return at the corner of Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue. It’s a familiar sight for fans, as the location mixes the old school with the new school.
“A lot of people just don’t know that all beignets aren’t the same,” co-owner Bob Hennessey said. “You know, that’s the big thing that I want to stress.”
The new spot, located in a strip alongside the soon-to-open Bud’s Broiler, features ample covered outdoor seating on the front patio with ceiling fans. As a sign of the times, the outdoor space also features a COVID-minded, walk-up to-go window, as well as outlets for charging computers and cell phones.
Lots of natural light pours indoors, where a nostalgic bar structure greets customers in the center of the cafe. A second mirrored bar structure spans the far corner of the building’s interior, rounded out by socially-distanced cafe tables.
Hennessey said the new location comes with its own set of both challenges and opportunities.
“Any time you invest in a business you hope it’s going to pay off,” Hennessey said. “City Park was terrific for us, but it’s different here than City Park.”
He says one of the biggest challenges is parking in the area. Currently, a small parking lot wraps around the side and back of the building, but he’s “looking at a few possibilities” to increase parking for customers in the neighborhood.
Hennessey said one good thing about this location is its proximity to several local neighborhoods, including Old Metairie, Lakeview and Mid-City.
“You can see the I-10 from here,” Hennessey said. “We’ve got two bars. Hopefully, we can get some of that overflow, and it’s a lot of traffic.”
Being near the Canal streetcar line presents another opportunity for the new Morning Call, Hennessey said.
“When tourism comes back, the conventions come back, we’re going to market to the hotels downtown and let them know what we have,” Hennessey said.
Along with beignets and coffee, Morning Call will also serve other local fare, such as red beans, jambalaya, gumbo and muffulettas.
For now, Hennessey said the cafe had to trim other items previously sold at the City Park, such as popcorn, ice cream and Mango Freeze. However, he said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to offer more food items in the future, due to a new high-tech kitchen improvement, a German-made Combi oven.
Soon, the cafe will serve alcohol, as it did at the City Park location, pending liquor license approval. Hennessey said he’s also working on a video poker machine, like the cafe once featured at the Metairie location.
Currently, Morning Call opens daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hennessey said he hopes to soon expand weekend hours and eventually expand to 24-hour service.
Morning Call Coffee Stand traces its roots back to the French Market, where the original stand opened in 1870. In 2018, Morning Call was forced to vacate its City Park location where it operated since 2012, after a big beignet battle for its 10-year lease. Morning Call’s Metairie cafe, which opened in 1974, also closed in 2018.
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