OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
In 4 years Lauren Thom has taken Fleurty Girl from a bedroom in the front of her house on Oak Street to 5 stores citywide. At a time when the term "T-shirt shop"was synonymous with "bottom-feeding scum," representative of everything that was wrong with New Orleans' tourist-centered economy, Lauren turned T-shirt economics on its head, pitching her product at locals, with dopey tourist slogans like "I got Bourbon faced on Shit Street" with insider-jokes and NOLA pride from a Kenner Bra to an Irish Channel on TV.
John Blancher bought a run-down bowling alley to use as a catering hall. When he started booking bands, and drinkers and dancers also became bowlers, he'd accidentally created a phenomenon that he called Rock'n'Bowl. Today Rock'n'Bowl is the anchor of a small entertainment empire that includes Ye Olde College Inn and Ye Olde Bakery.