Boil house celebration canceled due to false claims
William Wright, developer of Shelter House No. 1 on Lakeshore Drive, planned to host a weekend-long operation of his seafood restaurant until he learned that his special event permit had been denied.
Wright said he called the City of New Orleans’ Department of Safety and Permits on Friday morning (May 19) to discover that three to four individuals had called the department beforehand. Allegedly, they claimed that Wright was hosting a grand opening of his seafood boil house without the proper permit.
“This is not the grand opening,” Wright said. “We’re only trying to set up an event in the parking lot to make some extra cash.”
The zoning for both Wright’s shelter and Shelter No. 2 is currently being negotiated with the City Planning Commission.
Wright said he was told that Jared Munster, Department of Safety and Permits director, decided to deny the special event permit at the shelter after hearing multiple complaints and claims from citizens. Wright was not contacted about the claims and needed to set up an appointment before he could speak to Munster.
“They should have called me and asked me my side,” Wright said.
In Wright’s application for the special event permit, he wrote that he expected about 1,000 people and would be selling boiled and fried seafood, as well as beer and wine, in the Shelter No. 1 parking lot. Renovations were still being completed at the shelter on May 19.
Completed renovations at Shelter No. 1 include a new door to the restrooms, new restroom mirrors, newly pressure washed restroom floors, and several new wooden picnic tables in front the building. Wright said there were previously cracked mirrors and inches of mud in the vacant bathrooms.
The day before he was supposed to host the boil house celebration on the Lakefront, Wright said he faced opposition to the restaurant right in front the shelter on May 18. Wright said one man harassed him at the property and went so far as to tell the police that Wright had threatened him and verbally assaulted him.
Wright also thinks that someone politically connected was able to have his event canceled, and he suspects that they live across the levee, behind the proposed coffee house and seafood restaurant.
“They don’t want to see it (the seafood boil house) in any kind of shape, way, or form,” Wright said.
Although he had to cancel bringing his boiling equipment to the lake this time, Wright said he plans to get things straightened out with his special event permit on Monday, May 22 and host the Lakefront boil house celebration at Shelter No. 1 next weekend from May 26 to May 29.