Effort to reopen Hubig's pie plant is on hold

Published: Mar. 11, 2014 at 11:19 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - There's bad news tonight for lovers of Hubig's pies.

The owners say the opening of a new plant is on hold due to an apparent dispute over money and how best to move forward.

It's been nearly two years since Hubig's pies burned to the ground on Dauphine street, upsetting longtime employees like Donald Albert.

"I've been back there for 33 years, and I just don't know what to say," Albert said at the time.

The owners tried to hold on to a core base of employees for nearly a year, but that arrangement is over.

"I was separated from the company back in April of 2013," said former marketing manager Ty Green.

Sources say there's a conflict between owners Otto Ramsey and Lamar Bowman, and talks are at an impasse. Plans were drawn up for a new 16,000-square-foot plant on Press Street, but architects stopped work.

"We're on hold," Ramsey said. "It's kind of like Afghanistan - going nowhere fast."

"It just doesn't seem like it will happen now," said Green. "We just don't see any action."

The impasse comes nine months after the New Orleans City Council approved the Press Street location.

"There's no shovel in the ground, and when you don't have a shovel after purchasing land, there's questions," said Green.

After the plant site was approved, some neighbors became apprehensive - not because they opposed Hubig's, but because they were worried about the size.

"It's good for it to be around here, but it doesn't need to be in this spot," said Marigny resident Christopher Kim.

Whether it will be built anywhere is now in question.

"One of the managers told me we can't go forward," said Green.

At the time of the fire that destroyed the old plant back in July of 2012, manager Drew Ramsey expressed hope that Hubig's would be back soon, to bake and deliver the pies beloved by thousands.

"This one stayed in business and stayed together, and we will come back," he said. "Katrina didn't do it. We will come back."

But now, Drew Ramsey confirms that everything's on hold.

"I would very much like to find a path forward," he said. "The decision has to be made by the owners of the company."

For now, there's no progress to report. Everyone we spoke with is hopeful that some type of agreement can be reached, but no one knows when that might happen.

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