NEW ORLEANS — The Office of Nighttime Economy coordinated a sweep in the French Quarter last Friday, June 23, to address illegal vendors in the area. They were joined by the New Orleans Police Department’s (NOPD) 8th District, the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), the Chief Administrative Office (CAO), the Department of Revenue and the State’s Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).
“Several of our City departments and our state partner ATC organized this collaborative and successful effort to combat a pressing quality of life issue seen throughout our city, especially in the French Quarter,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Unfortunately, illegal street vending can pose serious public health threats, such as fire hazards and alcohol sales to minors, as well as impacts our legitimate business owners who are in compliance with City regulations. We strongly urge all businesses and vendors across the city to comply with all laws and permits to keep yourselves, your staff and the public safe. We will continue using every resource at our disposal to ensure rules are being followed and our residents are protected.”
The main of objective of the sweep was to address issues surrounding unpermitted alcohol sales, food vending and other forms of illegal street vending that oftentimes obstruct public right of ways, impact surrounding legitimate businesses and can be public safety hazards, especially with open flames and generators.
“The Office of Nighttime Economy, in partnership with residents and area businesses, coordinated an activation targeting illegal alcohol and food sales within the Vieux Carré Commission,” said Nighttime Economy Director Howard Kaplan. “The NOPD, NOFD, Revenue and ATC combined forces in a much appreciated and effective effort. This is the first of many sweeps that will occur to support our hospitality industry and citizens citywide. Repurposing the way each City department deals with our nighttime economy is key to protecting our culture bearers and their quality of life.”
The multidisciplinary team shut down two separate vendors with open grills, and they were given citations from NOFD and ATC since illegal alcohol transactions were also taking place. Several other food trucks and trailers, vendors and unlicensed alcohol sales were issued warnings as well. One food trailer returned after receiving a warning and was then cited. Three separate businesses on Bourbon Street were also cited for having “shot girls” outside of the business; even if a business has an existing alcohol sales license, it ends at the door of the establishment.
“The Eighth District, in collaboration with the Fire Department, ATC, Nighttime Economy, CAO and Revenue, did a sweep of the French Quarter in an effort to combat illegal vending, non-compliant bars related to alcohol sales and illegal parking,” said NOPD Eighth District Captain LeJon M. Roberts. “The sweep was a huge success, which resulted in several vendors cited and shut down, bars cited for non-compliance and vehicles ticketed and towed. This collaboration will continue throughout the summer to make the City of New Orleans safer.”
- NOPD issued eight warnings, two citations and one summons
- NOFD issued four illegal food vendor citations, as well as five warnings
- ATC issued four citations for illegal alcohol sales, as well as three warnings