There's a section of the New Orleans area about a 10 minute drive west of the French Quarter called Fat City - it's actually in Metairie (pronounced MET-ree, or Met - er -ee, whichever you prefer). From what I'm hearing, I may be witnessing the last days of Fat City in March 2011.
This is a beautifully sleazy/easy/greasy small little condensed section of town, bordered by nice neighborhoods, typical corporate chain stores & restaurants (think Office Depot, Borders, Best Buy, McDonald's, a mall, etc.). Although I'm told it's pretty tame/lame compared to its heydey 15 years or so ago, there's still a few holdouts standing: A strip club, some 24/7 restaurants/bars, coffee shops, bakery, convenience marts. And just about all the places within reasonable walking distance.
I'm told Fat City was a nice alternative for locals who didn't feel like dealing with the French Quarter crowds, parking or prices. Folks could get off their shift (whenever that was), roll by one the many places for food, booze, a lap dance - whatever struck their fancy at any time of the day or night.
Now, it sounds like the same story happening yet again: Real estate developers are working in conjunction with local politicians to "clean up Fat City!" I'm hearing an ordinance was passed, effective April 1 2011, to close any business serving alcohol by midnight. MIDNIGHT? Hell, most states let bars stay open until 2AM at least?!?!?
As for the bars in Fat City, a big chunk of their business comes in AFTER midnight. And the politicians and developers know this full well. It would seem the plan is to 1. Dramatically reduce their revenue and 2. Soften the building owners up to sell for whatever they can get for their properties.
But then again... since when did politicians ever bite the hand of who's really feeding them?