The Germans Are Coming
The prospective tenants were the Deutsches Haus. The Deutsches Haus is a century old German-American social organization which promotes German culture. The Deutsches Haus was located in the 200 block of South Galvez Street in Mid City New Orleans and in known for their Oktoberfest celebration each fall. The government was appropriating the land where their hall stood in order to build a new hospital complex. They were seeking a multi-year rental of a hall to temporarily house their operations until a new Deutsches Haus hall can be built.
After prolong negotiations, a lease was signed. The Deutsches Haus would have a temporary home while the post wouid have steady rental income while still having a place to hold its monthly meetings.
Post 350’s hall was appealing to the Deutsches Haus because of its adequate size, good parking, good location (only one block off of Airline Drive) in a good neighborhood, a nearly completed commercial kitchen which was very important for their events.
Deutches Haus then began a series of improvements to make the building more suitable for their use. The whole building was brought up to code. The kitchen was completed and expanded when the walk in refrigerator/freezer was removed. The main hall was painted and fixtures from the old Deutches Haus were added to give the place a German appearance. The bar in the main hallwas reconstructed with good wood and wood added throughout the hall to increase its charm. A new wooden bar was also constructed in the front hall. Each bar has at least eight bar taps whose lines run to an outside refrigeration unit on the Fig street side. The German beer dispensed is excellent.
The improvements to the front hall have changed the appearance the greatest. The front hall now has wood floors and wooden wainscoating in the bar area. A new room was created when a partition wall created a foyer area separate from the front hall. There are many more improvements, too many to be named. The Deutsches Haus could accomplish this project because they have many skilled volunteer workers.
A special thanks to Deutsches Haus president Keith Oldendorf, treasurer Al Bourg, and Tornmy Mertz and the other Deutsches Haus members who completed this fine work.
The Deutsches Haus recently began renting the back building for general storage. The Deutsches Haus also signed a four year tease extention. They have acquired prime real estate property on Bayou St’ John in New Orleans which they will develop into a fine hall of their own. We are happy to have the Deutsches Haus with us as long as they need to be here.
Russell Totora must be commended for the leadership that he has shown in getting us to this point. The post is now in good financial shape. We have come a long way from the day when Lee Cox handed over the future of the post to him. The hard work with the rentals bought time until a tenant could be found. The right tenant was found and now the post’s future is rosy.