By Juanice Gray | Editor
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, so are several businesses along historic Front Street. A 5:30 a.m. emergency call April 30, 2020, of a blaze on the south end of Front Street, just after the onset of the Covid pandemic, added even more devastation to an already struggling retail area. The fire destroyed Mayeaux’s restaurant, the Soapery and All Tangled Up salon and heavily damaged several other businesses and adjacent town homes.
David James owns 10 Front Street properties and three on Touline Street. He said it’s been 16 months of work to clean, demolish and completely rebuild Mayeaux’s and other destroyed properties. In March, permits were issued with a valuation of $297,000 for the location that housed Mayeaux’s Steak House and one with a valuation of $242,972 was obtained for the one that housed the salon.
“It’s getting so close I can taste it,” James said of the reopenings.
While the Soapery and hair salon won’t return, restaurant owner Clay Mayeaux expanded to include the Soapery location, almost doubling his square footage. “It’s been built back better than before,” James said. “It’s something to see.”
James said some businesses won’t be returning, but all 13 currently have tenants and some are on the cusp of reopening. He said the condos were also refurbished in the fire restoration and build out process.
The State Fire Marshal was scheduled to be on site Wednesday morning for a final inspection, the last step before seeing the doors open within the next week or two.