Big Freedia was already a good enough reason to pay New Orleans a visit — but you'll soon have a place to stay there as well.
The Queen of Bounce recently unveiled plans to open a new hybrid music venue, restaurant and micro boutique hotel near the heart of historic downtown New Orleans. Tentatively called Hotel Freedia (although not naming it The Bounce House feels like a huge missed opportunity), the artist has announced they are moving forward with plans to open the new venue near Decatur and Frenchmen streets just in time for Mardi Gras next year.
Described as being more akin to a "country club with a music venue" than a hotel, with only five rooms available, the space is intended to serve as more of a home base for Freedia's performances as well as for local and national live music acts. In addition to a rooftop bar and outdoor pool, Hotel Freedia will also reportedly sell memberships through NFTs, which would cover "first-come, first-served access to guest list spots" for performances and the venue's many other amenities. Currently, the crypto-based membership plans are going for the equivalent of $750 in Ethereum, but Freedia's manager did confirm that the club will still be open to the public.
\u201cThis dream of mine has been in the works for a long time, I\u2019ll be one of the first black hotel owners in New Orleans \ud83d\udcaa\ud83c\udffe\ud83d\udcaa\ud83c\udffe\ud83d\udcaa\ud83c\udffe\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\udffe\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\udffe\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\udffe will keep y\u2019all posted on the official opening date, can\u2019t wait to see y\u2019all at Hotel Freedia \u2764\ufe0f\u2764\ufe0f\u2764\ufe0f\u2764\ufe0f\u201d— Big Freedia \ud83d\udc8b (@Big Freedia \ud83d\udc8b) 1675273705
The idea for for the project was apparently born out of Freedia's love of cooking and sharing soul food recipes with family and friends. “Not being able to go out and work during the pandemic, cooking brought so much light and creativity it just really got me interested in doing a restaurant,” Freedia told the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. “And I always had a dream of opening a hotel, so it just kind of came together that way.”
Now that they've hosted pop-ups at Café Reconcile, led cooking classes, launched a line of rosé and made plans to write a cookbook, Freedia's dishes will serve as the inspiration for the food served at the hotel's restaurant. Freedia previously laid out their vision for Hotel Freedia in an interview with Essence as “a place where people can come if they want to have a cup of coffee in the morning and do some work on their computer," adding that "it will also be a great space for people to come and have dinner.”
Groundbreaking on Hotel Freedia is expected to start sometime this spring, with the ultimate goal of being open by Mardi Gras 2024.
Photo via Getty/ Leon Bennett
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