Interview date: 2.11.15
Dan Etheridge is the co-owner of Pagoda Café on N. Dorgenois Street near Esplanade Avenue and Bayou Road.
Dan’s background in architecture attracted him to this building because of its unusual pagoda-style roof. The building had been part of the Oriental Laundry chain, which operated numerous laundries in New Orleans in the 1930s. Dan was interested in this corner not only because of the unique building, but also because of the neighborhood itself. Dan points out that years ago, this area was a thriving commercial corridor with a fruit market, movie theatre, and bank. “‘I’ve lived in this neighborhood since I moved to the city in 2002, he notes.”
According to Dan, who hails from Australia, “The café culture in Australia is quite different; we don’t really have coffee shops like we have here”. He explains that the coffee shops in Australia are places where patrons can get good food as well as good coffee, and he modeled the Pagoda Café on these Australian counterparts. Coffee shop customers in New Orleans do not normally expect to get really nice breakfasts or lunches at a coffee shop, but they can at the popular Pagoda Café.
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