by Ian McNulty
As the massive state and VA hospital projects take shape on one end of Tulane Avenue, new businesses from local entrepreneurs are cropping up along other parts of this central but badly-faded corridor.
A new example is Trèo (3835 Tulane Ave., phone n.a.), an upscale bar now in the works from the owners of Finn McCool’s Irish Pub.
Trèo will specialize in craft cocktails and serve a menu of small plates while its second floor will be converted into gallery space available for exhibits, classes and events. The building is now under renovation and Trèo should be open by the summer.
“We are loving the progress in Mid-City and want to be part of the resurgence of Tulane Avenue,” says Pauline Patterson, who is developing Trèo with her husband Stephen.
Trèo (pronounced “tray-oh”) is the Irish word for direction, and Patterson says they choose it to symbolize the new direction for Tulane Avenue. Certainly, the prospect of craft cocktails and small plates signals a big change for Trèo’s address. For years, this narrow, two-story building had been the Cajun Pub, a gritty and run-down Mid-City bar not to be confused with the Marigny watering hole Kajun’s Pub.
While the conversion plans seem ambitious, the Pattersons have had success transforming other businesses. In 2002 the Belfast natives bought Joe’s 19th Hole, an old, rambling and mostly decrepit bar on Banks Street. The place now draws a wide and diverse crowd as Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, easily one of Mid-City’s most popular bars.
Patterson says Trèo will be much different from Finn McCool’s, which is only a few blocks away. It will be smoke free, she says, and the kitchen will serve dishes inspired by international flavors and designed to be shared. A key part of the plan here involves the gallery space upstairs, where she says they will host different artists and hold classes led by chefs and mixologists.
Tulane Avenue has seen other positive developments on the food and drink front lately, with New York-style pizza specialist Pizzicare, Ur Way Coffee & Yogurt Bar and Avery’s Po-boys all opening in the past two years.
3835 Tulane Ave., phone n.a.