Happy Feasting on Freret

New Orleans restaurants have turned Freret Street into a dining hot spot

By Brett Anderson, The Times-Picayune
Friday, November 04, 2011, 6:00 AM
Photo by David Grunfeld

In 2008, when Neal Bodenheimer first walked into the building he now owns on the corner of Freret and Upperline streets, there were pigeons living on the second floor. A gone-to-seed renovation that had converted the century-old firehouse into an office space obscured the cypress ceilings overhead. Brick arches that would become signature elements of Cure, a stylish, uncompromising cocktail bar unlike anything New Orleans had ever seen, were filled in with cinder blocks.

“It was in terrible shape,” said Bodenheimer, who was sitting last week at a corner table inside Cure, where an early evening crowd was starting to file in.

Bodenheimer was describing the former state of the property, but as recently as a year ago, that assessment fairly described the entire neighborhood, a stretch of Freret Street bookended by Jefferson and Napoleon avenues.

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Feasting on Freret Street