Circle Food Store to reopen summer 2013 - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Circle Food Store to reopen summer 2013

The iconic Circle Food Store should be serving customers once again by next summer, seven years after Katrina destroyed it.

Construction is under way to build out the landmark at Claiborne and St. Bernard that so many generations remember as part of their lives.

"The money is in the bank, we got our financing done, the construction crew is here and we are ready to go," said owner Dwayne Boudreaux.

Boudreaux managed the store in the 1980's and has owned it since 1991. He witnessed the dark days when Katrina destroyed the store that was the light of the neighborhood.

"It was the lifeline, the heartbeat," said Emelie Mays. "It was the place to come.  If you didn't see them at church you could see them at Circle Food Store," she said.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other city leaders heralded the reopening of a market that dates back to the 1800's, calling it the hub of the 7th Ward.

Lori Gabriel's family once were the sole owners. "My father is Michael Gabriel and he opened the store up with Herbert Gabriel," she said.

Boudreaux said Herbert Gabriel turned his ownership over to him and he's been running the store ever since, like a new beginning.  Boudreaux fought for financing and got a $1 million loan through City Hall's Fresh Food Retailer Initiative.  More than $8 million in tax credits and other initiatives will go into the historic site.

Doris Burbank shopped at the store all her life.  "It's a homey place, friendly place.  All the merchandise you want, anything you need, all the food you want, you can find it right here, fresh and available at any time."

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