Royal Brewery opens in New Orleans East
Craft brewing business comes to New Orleans East through Royal Brewery, which held a ribbon cutting to kick off its grand opening weekend filled with beer, food, and live music.
Royal Brewery New Orleans is owned by Raymond Pumilia and his wife Mandy Pumilia, residents of the Upper Ninth Ward. Raymond Pumilia, whose family has been in Louisiana since the 1800s, has worked in film for 20 years, which he said helped him to learn managing infrastructure and a budget.
According to Raymond Pumilia, deciding to open up the brewery in New Orleans East was a “no-brainier.” He was originally supposed to take over the vacant building in Nov. 2014, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the Pumilias owned it, after tackling all the issues inside.
“The East has always been an incredible part of the city,” Raymond Pumilia said. “I feel it’s been neglected since Katrina, and it’s like, I’m near the lake, the Lakefront airport, Bunny Bread.”
Raymond Pumilia said there’s a lot of opportunity in the area people aren’t recognizing, so he was glad to see Tipitina’s creating a venue at the South Shore Harbor, as well as the World War II Museum bringing the PT-305 boat to Lake Pontchartrain.
“I’m so happy about that,” Raymond Pumilia said. “And when I started it, those things weren’t happening. I knew nothing about that. I was like, ‘I don’t care. This is where the city needs to grow.’ ”
Councilmember Jared Brossett of District D attended the soft opening and ribbon cutting for Royal Brewery on Friday, May 26, in order to welcome the new establishment. Brossett said he felt glad to be part of making this type of development possible, since the city redid the comprehensive zoning ordinance in 2015.
“It revitalizes this industrial corridor,” Brossett said.
Keith Twitchell, President of the Committee for a Better New Orleans, attended the ribbon cutting and said he looks forward to Royal Brewery expanding their beer line-up.
“I just think it’s great that New Orleans, which has a long history of brewing, is finally getting real craft beers all over the city,” Twitchell said.
Twitchell was happy to see a brewery come to New Orleans East, especially due to new breweries being concentrated in Uptown and Central City so far.
“I hope people realize this is really convenient,” Twitchell said. “It’s really easy to get here.”
Mandy Pumilia said she enjoyed serving the brewery’s neighbors that stopped by after work in the area, like the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), UPS, and Riverside Lumber employees.
“We’ve got a built-in clientele just in our neighbors,” Mandy Pumilia said. “We just want the community to come out and make this their space. We want people to lose the stigma people have about coming to the New Orleans East area.”
She said the brewery could be a great weekend destination to combine with going out to the Lakefront, having one’s boat at South Shore Harbor, or attending Tipitina’s upcoming Lakeshore Landing amphitheater.
“So I think we’ll be a first stop or a last stop,” Mandy Pumilia said.
Royal Brewery New Orleans is located on 7366 Townsend Place, Building B. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, while they’re closed on Sundays.