CLOSING - Uptown Location - 5538 Magazine Street
Magazine street has always been a special corridor to our company. 6 miles of independent shops and restaurants, schools, one-of-a-kind menus and products, friends, families and neighbors prospering together, a level of service and familiarity unique to even our service-forward niche, and seasonal festivals and events set our street apart from so many business-heavy areas across the country. Our original Juan's location is on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District, near Jackson Avenue. When we purchased that building in 1996, we never could have imagined the explosion of boutiques and cafes growing roots all around us. 25 years later, we still own and operate that original location in Historic Magazine Row. Since late 2009, we have been fortunate to serve our Uptown friends and neighbors at a second Magazine Street location, at 5538 Magazine next to Whole Foods.
In the last 5 years, a proliferation of large corporations have entered our unique small market, renovating spaces up and down Magazine Street. While modernizing and updating the quaint cottages we enjoy and come to take for granted is a value unto itself, this activity has impacted the rental rates profoundly, and we have found ourselves in a position where, as a "sophisticated mom n pop," we are unable to afford the occupancy expenses on Magazine in a space as large as ours. We have enjoyed a below-market lease for some time, allowing us to survive hurricanes and pandemics, and ride out the ups and downs our industry endures. However, the market has changed and, despite our landlord Williamson Brothers' willingness to offer a renewal at a rate lower than what has been set as the market rate, we would be unable to operate profitably at these new rates and are forced to look elsewhere for a new "waaay uptown" home for our Juan's Family.
We are grateful for the relationships we have forged in the last 13 years, from Carrollton Boosters to the Krewe of Thoth, the symbiotic relationships with Whole Foods, Walgreens, St. Joe's, and all our neighbors. Thank you for sharing birthdays, Carnival, anniversaries, Saints victories, Entergy restorations, and boil water advisories with us. Thank you for allowing us to host your girl scout cookie booths, thank you for bringing your visiting friends and family in, thank you for waiting for a table, trying our specials, meeting your friend for a happy hour margarita, ordering to-go in 2020 when none of us knew what was going to happen, wearing your masks in 2021, and so much more. Thank you, Waaaay Uptown, for 13 great years on Joseph and Magazine.
As of today, our lease expires on May 31, 2022. We may be here on a month-to-month basis beyond that date while we look for the right space to move into, and we do plan to find something that still serves Waaaay Uptown, but as we peck away at the keyboard, crafting this "see ya real soon" thank-you note, our last day in the building at 5538 Magazine Street is the 31st.
It's been an honor and a joy, and remember.....We are all Juan