Freret on corner of Renaissance

Cadence Neenan, Contributing Reporter

According to Mike Casey, owner and operator of Liberty Cheesesteaks and member of the Board of Directors of Freret Street, when he went to Tulane from 2002 to 2006, Freret Street was only known for being a slightly quicker bus route to more important locations—like Mardi Gras parties.

That was a decade ago, and Freret Street is now the destination for Tulane students looking for local nightlife outside The Boot.

“It was unbelievable, the changes,” Casey said. “Just kind of rampant growth.”

Today, Freret is a hub for chic commercialism—gourmet hot dog stands, uniquely upscale cocktail bars, boutiques, coffee shops, yoga studios: the works. Even freshmen know Freret is the place to be these days.

“[It] seems like a really good option to find some really cool places,” Campbell said. “The restaurants, and just the general scene.”

The Freret Street vibe comes from a united dedication to bettering the area from each business owner. The key to Freret Street’s successful rebound was the strong sense of community that business owners created following Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s reflective of New Orleans, the unique diverse microculture of that area,” Bill DiPaola, chief operating officer of Dat Dog, said.

Dat Dog has three locations—one on Frenchman Street in the French Quarter, one on the popular shopping haven Magazine Street and one on Freret Street.

“We love serving great food, but there’s a vibe that’s also hand-in-hand with how we do business,” DiPaola said. “And I think Freret Street was absolutely instrumental in making it.”

To all Tulane students, the shops and environment of Freret Street are a cornerstone of the Tulane experience. According to Casey, Tulane has been able to help Freret Street become the social center it is today.

“Tulane is the reason we’re here in a big, big way,” Casey said. 

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