On Bayou Road, the last of a chain of Chinese laundry buildings constructed in the late 1920s and early 1930s has reopened as Pagoda Cafe, a place to grab coffee and great food with friends and family. After housing a laundromat, the building has been home to a record store, a food stand, and an incense shop, said Dan Etheridge, owner of the cafe with his long-time cooking and catering partner Shana Sassoon. The building has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina, and Etheridge and Sassoon have worked for the past year with the Historic District Landmarks Commission to restore it.
The cafe serves high-quality coffee from French Truck, a local roaster, and a simple food menu including morning pastries, breakfast tacos inspired by Sassoon’s youth in Texas, and sandwiches, salads, and fresh cakes in the afternoons. In addition to French Truck Coffee, partnerships with local small businesses include Grow Dat Youth Farm, Magellan St. Garden, St. James Cheese Company, Bellegarde Bakery, and more. A patio dining area allows for a relaxing experience and a child-friendly environment.
The owners have lived in the cafe’s vicinity for more than ten years and have always enjoyed the shopping, food and entertainment on Bayou Road at places like CoCo Hut, Community Book Center, Domino Sound, and Club Caribbean, Etheridge said. “We’re excited to be on Bayou Road with the other super cool businesses on the corridor.”
The building’s original structure was preserved during restoration, with updates made for code compliance and to run a food establishment. The cafe also includes a deck and an accessory building for a bathroom and storage. The classic signs on the building’s exterior and interior also bring a unique feel.
Pagoda Cafe is located at 1430 N. Dorgenois Street (and Bayou Road) and is open from 7 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Check them out on Facebook