French Quarter T-shirt shops "wearing" on some city leaders

T-shirt shops in the French Quarter have become all too common. A city councilwoman says many owners shouldn't be operating at all.

"About two years ago I wrote an ordinance that was a moratorium on T-Shirt shops. Since then we've had other T-shirt shops open up with very little enforcement," said Kristen Palmer who represents the French Quarter.

One shop at 301 Decatur opened as a family clothing store just before the Super Bowl.

"There was an ordinance against T-shirts? I did not know about it," said Mohammed Hamideh the store's owner.

Meg Lousteau is director of the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates.

"What happens frequently is a place opens up as a different kind of business, retail clothing and some other type of committed use, and gradually they morph into T-shirt shops," she said.


Lousteau's group compiled a list of possible violators. More than 30 on Decatur and at least 17 shops on Bourbon.

"While we were visiting 301 Decatur, a Safety and Permits officer paid a visit, and made a phone call to Hamideh.

"She said you're not allowed to sell T-shirts. You're a family clothing store," he said repeating the officer's words.

"What does she mean by clothing? A T-shirt is not clothing?"

Palmer says there are many shops operating illegally and urges continued enforcement.

"I'm talking about Safety and Permits, Revenue, and I'm even talking about the police. The NOPD has the ability to shut down these things if they're not in compliance. I want to know why we aren't looking at things.