Brian Anderson, a Metairie architect who owns three residential buildings on West Chimes Street, says the area is a lot nicer and safer than it was just a few years ago, and he never has a problem renting his 12 units.
“I believe the street has improved tremendously over the past few years since the bars all shut down,” he says.
So he’s concerned about plans to open a bar nearby at the former site of Chimes Textbook Exchange. Plans are to name it after Murphy’s, a popular college bar on West State Street that closed in 1997 after a 20-year-old fraternity pledge died from alcohol poisoning after drinking there.
Anderson is concerned about potential noise coming from a bar open until 2 a.m. on what is now a relatively quiet commercial strip. He’s also worried about how it will affect the already-tight parking situation.
The planned bar’s ownership group is not affiliated with the original bar’s owners. Ty Hingle, who is part of the group, notes that it wouldn’t be far from The Revelry, a Highland Road bar, so it doesn’t represent a major change for the area.
Hingle says his immediate neighbors are happy with the investment in a historic building that has been empty and “decaying” for years. He says other group members have experience running hospitality businesses in other parts of the country and says they will do everything they can to prevent underage and excessive drinking.
“The property renovations we’re doing alone are going to cause the area’s property values to increase,” he says.
The planned Murphy’s spot at 268 West Chimes was rezoned from heavy commercial to commercial alcoholic beverage (restaurant) in 2016, then to commercial alcoholic beverage (bar and lounge) in 2020.