Here are two seperate articles talking about the restaurant scene in New Orleans, and how difficult reconstruction has been.
From the first article:
Of the 3,400 restaurants in the greater New Orleans area before Katrina, only 26 percent have reopened, said Tom Weatherly of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. Only about 300 of those are in the city.
The second article gives a more focused account of reconstuction, and how it affects several people personally.
The Brennans’ tenure as Commander’s proprietors, during which the restaurant served as a launching pad for Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, has left an indelible mark on New Orleans’ recent history. But its long past did not serve it well during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“Water came in through the ceiling and I guess the wall,” Martin said. “There was some kind of weird sideways rain. And then along came Rita. We pretty much have to rip everything out and put it back in.”
Martin calls a March re-opening a “best-case scenario.”
It’s still difficult to tell how much Katrina has affected, not just the restaurant scene, but the overall culture of New Orleans. But if these articles are any indication, the hill they have to climb is pretty steep.