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What to look forward to on April 10 when New Orleans’ St. Roch Market reopens for the first time since Hurricane Katrina



  The refurbished St. Roch Market (2381 St. Claude Ave., 504-408-2080; is poised to open April 10, and its dozen food stalls will offer a variety of prepared items and produce. "Everyone remembers it as a seafood market," says proprietor Will Donaldson, "so we'll have Elysian Fields Seafood selling retail and prepared seafood." Vendor counters line both sides of the long, open hall, and there's a bar as well. The food truck King Creole will occupy a spot and Shank Charcuterie, run by Kris Doll of Shank Shop, will offer deli and butchered items. Coast Roast, coffee roaster Kevin Pedeaux's operation based in Holy Cross, will make sure everyone stays caffeinated.

  The market will have 100 seats inside and 100 seats on its patio. The bar, The Mayhaw, will have 14 seats and it will focus on local cocktails. "(The mayhaw) is referred to as a swamp berry," Donaldson says. "Here in Louisiana they use it for cocktails and they make syrups and stuff out of it."

  There also is a seven-seat oyster bar.

  Donaldson says the market will offer Louisiana produce at prices comparable to supermarkets. "The way we do that is because we're our own distributor," he says. "We can pick up all the stuff ourselves, we have our own logistics. We have amazing, high-quality Louisiana produce. We also sell to 35 restaurants in New Orleans. This is one of the first times you'll be able to get retail produce that's used in the restaurants in town. You get the high-quality stuff that's reserved for the chefs. We bring it in and make it available at affordable prices."

  The market will accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for produce, and it will be open for lunch and dinner service.

  On March 21, Donaldson held a job fair at the St. Roch Community Church with the help of the St. Roch Community Development Corporation to recruit employees from the neighborhood.

  The original St. Roch Market opened in 1875 as an open-air market. It was enclosed by a Works Progress Administration project in 1938. The space has been closed since Hurricane Katrina.

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