New Orleans ( May 31, 2018) Pythian Market, the highly anticipated urban food collective located in the historic Pythian Temple in New Orleans’ Central Business District, will open its doors to the public on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 234 Loyola Avenue. The renovated and repurposed ground floor space of a mixed-use development originally commissioned by the Colored Knights of Pythias in 1908, will provide a unique dining and shopping experience for locals and visitors with 14 locally-sourced purveyors, fast craft cocktails and retail vendors.
“The Pythian building played an integral role in New Orleans’ early civil rights movement and was a place where the African American community congregated and celebrated. We want to recreate that sense of a convivial gathering place – a centralized hub where food, culture, spirit and community converge,” says Lisa Brefere, founder of award-winning F&B consulting firm Gigachef and curator of Pythian Market.
Fashioned on similar models in the country where old, historic buildings are remodeled to create a thriving, community-driven food mecca with a focus on independent businesses, Pythian Market aims to be a one-stop destination with a varied mosaic of cuisines representing the many influences that make up the Crescent City’s culinary landscape. The 14 independent vendors range from established local brands with a loyal following, to up-and-coming new concepts with unique and creative fare; all with an eye toward turning out high-quality, fresh food in a relaxed, communal setting. Diverse offerings include crawfish poutine from Southern-meets-Louisiana comfort food spot Fete au Fete; the hanover – oxtails stewed in a rich brown gravy with carrots and potatoes – from 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant; Eat Well’s Vietnamese bánh mì and phoritos (pho burritos) and cachapas – Venezuelan stuffed corn pancakes from La Cocinita, which has been featured on CNBC’s Restaurant Start-Up, Food Network’s Eat Street, and the Cooking Channel’s Taco Trip. Acclaimed Chef Marlon Alexander will bring two new concepts to Pythian Market: Cru – raw and cooked specialty seafood dishes including tempura fried Gulf oysters – paired with specialty craft cocktails and wines, and Poulet – fresh sustainable cuisine with an emphasis on locally-sourced rotisserie chicken – done your way.
Purists and traditionalists will also rejoice with a plethora of tantalizing eats including gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from Frencheeze; wood-fired pizzas from Covington-based Meribo Pizza; and authentic Southern barbecue from Central City BBQ, crowned “Best BBQ Restaurant” in 2017 by Times-Picayune food critic, Brett Anderson.
Additional vendors will include Squeezed – cold pressed juices, smoothies and vegan specialties; Kai’s, using premium seasonal and natural ingredients in Hawaiian-inspired poké; and Roustabout, serving artisan roasted coffee, espresso drinks, teas, and more. Grab-and-go Mediterranean specialties will also be available at Little Fig, a retail outpost from the folks behind 1,000 Figs.
Imbibers can belly up to Bar 1908 where fast craft cocktails, local beers and seasonal frozen libations will be on offer. Developed by Lisa Nguyen, the savvy cocktail guru formerly of Cure and Seaworthy, the menu at Bar 1908 will feature thoughtfully curated beverages rooted in the classics such as the Sazerac & Lagniappe – Sazerac rye whiskey, raw sugar and Peychaud’s bitters served with a sidecar of Kubler absinthe and G+T+Tea – a refreshing and herbaceous cocktail with gin, fresh lime juice and house made raspberry-hibiscus tea syrup, topped with Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic. The Bali Hai at the Beach is a nod to the tiki-style Ponchartrain Beach restaurant and features El dorado 5-year rum, fresh lime, pineapple, and orgeat. Six frozen cocktails, available in two sizes, will rotate with the seasons and feature delightful concoctions like the Frozen Watermelon Paloma and Peach Sweet Tea. Also, on offer will be a variety of Low Proof and No Proof cocktails, perfect for daytime sippers, non-imbibers and underage drinkers.
Designed by Eskew + Dumez + Ripple, the 11,000 square foot space seats 140 and combines contemporary and rustic elements with nods to the famed history of the building. Local craftsman Matthew Holdren, who’s been featured on CNBC’s The Deed, transformed the original Pythian Jazz Garden’s old dance floors into a beautiful collection of dining surfaces for the high-tops, banquettes and communal tables, all set against polished concrete floors and exposed brick walls. Expansive windows and pendant lighting exudes an overall bright, clean and inviting ambiance and a variety of materials from subway tiles to reclaimed wood gives each vendor its own identity. Art plays an integral role at Pythian Market with playful, colorful signage by New Orleans’ chalk artist Ashlee Arceneaux Jones of Smallchalk and a mural designed by iconic local artist, Brandan ‘Bmike’ Odums – which depicts civil rights activists A. P. Tureaud and Lucille Dejoie who met at the Rooftop Garden of the Pythian Temple during the “Roaring Twenties.”
Sustainability will also play an integral role at Pythian Market with regular composting; ban on Styrofoam usage throughout the market; ample bicycle racks around the building; reusable coasters; and other plant-based materials to reduce paper and plastic waste.
In anticipation of Pythian Market’s grand opening, the venue will host a series of pre-opening specials:
Friday, May 25th – 50% discount at all vendors from 11AM – 1PM and 5PM – 7PM
Saturday, May 26th – 50% discount at all vendors from 10AM – 2PM
Pythian Market will officially open to the public on Thursday, May 31, 2018. Located at 234 Loyola Avenue in New Orleans, hours of operation will be Sunday – Thursday 7AM – 9PM; Friday and Saturday 7AM – 10PM. For additional information, please visit www.pythianmarket.com.
Stay up to date on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @PythianMarket
Images and interviews available upon request.
About Pythian Market
Pythian Market is an urban food collective located on the ground floor of the historic Pythian Temple in downtown New Orleans. The market features 14 uniquely-curated artisan purveyors and retail vendors that showcase a mosaic of cuisines representing the many cultures that make up today’s culinary landscape in New Orleans. From fresh Gulf seafood and authentic Southern BBQ to Vietnamese street food and Louisiana comfort fare, diners can expect soulful, fresh and creative cuisine served up in a convivial atmosphere. The market’s Bar 1908, under the direction of Beverage Director Lisa Nyugen (Cure & Seaworthy), features fast craft cocktails, local beers and a variety of seasonally frozen concoctions. The 11,000-square foot space is both rustic and modern with exposed brick, polished concrete and pendant lighting. Local artisans Matthew Holdren, Ashlee Arceneaux Jones and Brandan ‘Bmike’ Odums have each crafted elements of the marketplace that pay tribute to the storied history of the building; from tables made from the original dance floors from 1909 to a mural which depicts civil rights activist couple A.P. Turead and Lucille Dejoie who first met at The Pythian.
About The Pythian Building
A collaborative effort by co-developers ERG Enterprises, Crescent City Community Land Trust and Green Coast Enterprises, The Pythian is a repurposed, renovated mixed-use development featuring 69 apartments, offices, event space and Pythian Market – a ground floor multi-vendor food collective. From its construction by the Colored Knights of Pythias under the leadership of Smith W. Green in 1908, to its use as a headquarters during World War II by Andrew Jackson Higgins, whom President Eisenhower called “the man who won the war,” the Pythian building has been integral to civil and human rights for over 100 years. It was seminal in the development of Jazz and was likely the first place that a 12-year old Louis Armstrong ever performed publicly.
Lauren Busch/Anabel Mendez
Brustman Carrino Public Relations