NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Bartenders are behind the bar at Parlay’s Bar in Lakeview on Harrison Avenue preparing for the day. It is hard to believe just a few months ago, flames ripped through the building on an early June morning, just days after the bar reopened at a limited capacity due to COVID restrictions in New Orleans.
“It burns down day two after being open for COVID, it’s a crushing blow,” said manager Christopher Smith. “It’s a tough spot.”
Smith says he knew they would rebuild, it was a no brainer.
“We’ve been around for a long time. This bar has been here almost 40 years, total,” Smith said. “There was no way we were going to let it go.”
Eight months following the fire, Smith says they are ready to make new memories.
“We wanted to be back to being your favorite spot but clean, nice, and pretty.”
The building was gutted, down to the studs. There’s new roofing, plumbing, and crews are still working on the game room portion of the bar. On top of these upgrades, Smith added a bowling alley lane as a bar top.
“Why not do something different?” Smith asked.
There was smoke damage to other buildings on the block. Lakeview Burgers and Seafood, Parlay’s next-door neighbor, took in a lot of smoke and water damage as firefighters worked to put out the one alarm fire.
“It was pretty much nothing salvageable because of the smoke and water damage,” said Kitsy Adams, owner of Lakeview Burger and Seafood.
Adams says she too gutted her building.
“I’m telling you from all four walls, top to bottom it has all been redone,” Adams said.
She says they are looking to reopen within 30 days.
“It’s been a long road, but things happen for a reason and we’re going to come back bigger and better than ever and be state of the art,” Adams said. “The whole community has been very supportive, so we’re blessed.”
As for Smith, he says they will have a Friday crawfish boil but they’re keeping things low key until COVID restrictions ease so he says they can really celebrate.
“We’re going to try and cover all bases and be bigger and better than we were,” said Smith.
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