How does a neighborhood get its name? Developers, governments, real estate agents, urban planners, and neighbors themselves can all contribute to how different neighborhood names emerge. Some neighborhood names are arbitrary, some have deep historical roots, and others may arise from changing neighborhood composition, replacing prior names. In New Orleans, for example, neighborhood names like “Tremé” and “Marigny” emerged from the names of the landowners who held vast swaths of these areas prior to selling and subdividing the land. The name “Bywater,” though once called “Little Saxony” for the high volume of German immigrants who called it home, resulted from a telephone company code name. A local government initiative that included planners and architects dubbed the Uptown area that includes Audubon Park and Tulane and Loyola Universities “Audubon/University,” not necessarily reflecting how locals saw their neighborhood.
One conglomeration of local businesses has taken to calling their neighborhood “Maker’s Mile.” Says Alexis Korman, co-founder of Big Easy Bucha, “The Maker’s Mile is what we started calling our blossoming artisanal manufacturing area that’s technically Gert Town but is adjacent to Mid City and Broadmoor.” Not far from downtown New Orleans lies Gert Town, named for Alfred Gehrke who owned a corner store and several pieces of land in the area beginning in 1893. Its neighborhood boundaries are roughly the Pontchartrain Expressway to Earhart/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards, and from South Broad to Joliet Street. The area is largely industrial though there are residents who call it home too.
Maker’s Mile includes a number of breweries, bakeries, and distilleries that have taprooms open to the public for tastings and hanging out. Below are a few of the businesses you’ll find in this part of town.
Make sure to coat your stomach with some baked goods from one of the following bakeries, also located in Maker’s Mile: Gracious Bakery at 1000 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway, Laurel Street Bakery at 2701 S. Broad Street, and Piety & Desire Chocolate at 2727 S. Broad Street.