NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - After months of renovations, Cafe du Monde will open the doors to their City Park location, marking for some the end of excited anticipation, but for others, the official loss of the parks former tenant -- Morning Call.
Ariana Zapata is the manager of the newest Cafe du Monde location and said they’ve received “mixed reviews” from locals, but they remain optimistic.
“We are going to have three fryers most of our locations just have two, but we’re expected to be very busy,” Zapata said."
As it stands now, Zapata and her team are operating out of a standard-sized food truck and have been since the end of January.
“Whenever we first started, we were crazy busy. We had lines that went around and around, just outside around on the sides. It kind of slowed down when it got hotter,” Zapata said.
Aside from weather-related setbacks, Zapata said business is consistent, despite some disappointment from Morning Call loyals.
“We get a lot of locals that, I guess, they grew up on Morning Call. And it was taken away, and they were sad about it,” Zapata said.
Morning Call was the original beignet peddler in the park’s casino building, having opened their City Park location in 2012. After their lease was up and the building went to bid, Morning Call was disqualified. A successful suit against City Park gave the owners a second chance to bid, but the they lost out to Cafe du Monde.
While residents like Jessica Alysia and David Thorne said both beignet businesses are good, they said Morning Call is the one the associate with City Park.
“I liked the idea of Morning Call. I’ve been there a couple times and, to be honest, Café du monde has been here forever, but there are so many of them already, just like café Beignet. I feel like having Morning Call in the park was kind of something that should’ve stayed,” Alysia said.
“Morning Call was awesome. They been here for a long time. I mean, Café du monde has been around for a long time also, but not in the general location. I mean, I think everybody liked it,” he said.
Of the New Orleans area locals FOX 8 spoke to, some said they miss Morning Call’s excessively sugary fried flour, while others swear by Cafe du Monde’s beignets.
Then, there are those like Jodi Widel, who said she is simply glad they’ll still find this New Orleans staple in City Park.
“People love coming here so, it’s kind of a tradition,” Widel said.
Meanwhile, Zapata is staying busy, accepting that not everyone will be happy, but optimistic for a warm reception.
“I hope that everybody will just welcome us with open hands, because we’re trying to do the best we can here just for everybody to be satisfied with this new store,” she said.
Zapata said she hopes the City Park location will become a landmark, just like the one in the French Quarter, and expects it to be around for many years to come.
The cafe officially opened Wednesday (July 31)