by Ian McNulty
All the street and sidewalk construction along Freret Street isn’t the only work underway for this busy Uptown commercial strip. Plans are now taking shape for a new deli and specialty sandwich shop called Wayfare to join the dozen-or-so eateries and bars to have opened here lately.
The deli is a project from the father-and-son team of Ray and Vincent Arnona. They expect Wayfare to open around November at 4510 Freret St., the address that was previously the Freret Street Boxing Gym. The gym recently relocated to Central City, where it now hosts its popular Friday Night Fights events.
While the menu is still a work in progress, Vincent Arnona says Wayfare will borrow from various deli traditions and add some Southern twists. Some prominent features of the plan call for house-made meats, fine cheeses and lots of pickled produce. There will be salads and soups and specialty grocery items. Arnona says that Butcher, the deli attached to Cochon, is the closest local comparison for what his family plans for Wayfare.
“Butcher has definitely been an inspirational example and we feel like we can offer something similar to that style Uptown,” Arnona says.
The Arnona family has operated Vinny’s Sports Bar & Grill (2766 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 393-0155) on the West Bank for some 20 years and they also ran Dino’s Bar & Grill (1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900) in the Warehouse District until selling that property a few years back.
“We’ve been looking for the place for our next project and we feel like Freret is going to be a good fit,” Arnona says.
Getting a liquor license should not be much of an issue. The property sits within an arts and culture overlay district with zoning specifically crafted by Freret boosters to encourage hospitality businesses, and alcohol service is specifically allowed. Arnona says he plans to offer drinks at Wayfare and operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“We hope it’s the kind of atmosphere where if you want to grab something fast you can and if you want to just spend some time with a cheese plate it’s a nice place to do that too,” he says.
They’ll certainly have some room to spread out. The building has some 3,600 square feet of floor space. Wayfare will also have plenty of company, sharing the block with High Hat Café, Ancora and Sarita’s Grill (4520 Freret St., 324-3562).
4510 Freret St., phone n.a.