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Arts & Culture

GoNOLA Guide: Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard is a historic and cultural products district in New Orleans. Originally a stretch of Dryades Street, it was later named after Haley, the late civil rights and social justice advocate who resided in Central City. Once known for being a corridor of economic opportunity for minorities, the boulevard became less populated as the years passed.

For the last 20 years, the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants and Business Association has been working to revitalize the area and has been successful in many ways; check out the list below for things to do and for a comprehensive list of all businesses, visit the OCHMBA website.

Things to Do on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

Adrian’s Bakery (2016 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

This is the second location for this full-service bakery. They offer local delivery and national shipping, which can come in handy when you need to send king cakes to friends and family who are far away.

Ashé Cultural Arts Center (1712 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

Ashé is a community center that emphasizes positive contributions from people of African descent. They offer art presentations, events and a clothing boutique. The center holds many of the ongoing events that the boulevard is known for, such as Central City Fest and Holiday on the Boulevard.

Café Reconcile (1631 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

Café Reoncile employs young adults between the ages of 16-22 who come from at-risk backgrounds, providing them with on-the-job training and a chance for a different life. It is a nonprofit business and offers comfort food at affordable prices.

Casa Borrega (1719 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

If you’ve driven by the colorful truck parked in front of Casa Borrega and wondered what this place is all about, the answer is authentic Mexican street food. Casa Borrega is a certified green business and is co-owned by the founder of the Green Project.  They host an annual Latin Jazz Fest and other annual celebrations include: Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, and Mexican Independence Day.

Church Alley Coffee Bar (1618 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

Named after an alleyway in New Iberia, this shop prides itself on its specialty coffee selection and is committed to local preservation efforts.

Divine Yoga Center / Tasseology (1228 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

This spot is both a Kundalini yoga center and café. It is owned by two artists who moved here from New York and offers coffee, teas, vegetarian and vegan fare.

Friday Night Fights Boxing Gym (1632 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

Formerly the Freret Street Boxing Gym, this location will hosts its next event in October and is currently open for training sessions.

Southern Food and Beverage Museum (1504 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

The award-winning Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) is moving from the Riverwalk to Oretha C. Haley Blvd and will also be opening in the next few months. SoFAB will have a full-service restaurant and bar, among other ventures.

Museum of the American Cocktail (1504 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

This museum will share a space with SoFAB Museum and will be opening this fall. This is the place to learn about the history of cocktails, different types of cocktails, and participate in events and seminars on spirits history.

SoFAB Library (1609 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

Right down the street from the future SoFAB museum, the library is open now and is home to more than 11,000 volumes of culinary literature. All materials are available for reference only.

Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (1618 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.)

Open since 1986, Zeitgeist has a rich history of bringing alternative film and other arts to the New Orleans area. The building houses a small art gallery, Church Alley Coffee Bar, and Saturn Screenprinting.

Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Events

Central City Festival

Historically, admission to this event has been free; last year, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra performed.

Holiday on the Boulevard

This is a family-friendly event to get you in the holiday spirit and features music, performers, and Kwanzaa demonstrations.

O.C.H. Art Market

The market is on summer break and will resume in September; it takes place the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and usually has a different theme each month. There is fresh, healthy food available and local arts and crafts for purchase.

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