Garden District Coffee replaces Perks

Mid City residents dismayed by the sudden and unexpected closure of longstanding bean bar Perks Coffee & Tea have a reason to celebrate—they have a coffee shop again. Garden District Coffee re-opened in the Perks building late last week, under the care of former Perks manager David Welsh. “The response has been overwhelming,” says Welsh, “I’m thanking customers for coming, and they’re thanking me for being here.” Perks was a fixture of Mid City for more than 15 years, and its sudden closure last month, due to owner David J. Cattar’s failure to pay more than $20,000 in sales taxes, made many locals fear it wouldn’t return. That’s why—“the minute the building came up for lease,” he says—Welsh took over. “We have got to have a coffee shop here,” he says. “People rely on it.” Taking the closure as an opportunity to improve, however, he took a couple of weeks to renovate the interior with new flooring and walls, and make other improvements that Welsh says were long overdue. Behind the bar at Garden District Coffee, though, it’s business as usual: Welsh still personally roasts the beans in-house, as he did when he was manager at Perks; and friendly baristas—nearly all of the former Perks staff, in fact—serve up your favorite caffeinated blends alongside pastries from local caterers Gourmet Girls. At the moment, Welsh isn’t much interested in rocking the boat. “Right now we just want to get everything back up and running as best we can,” he says. Check out Garden District Coffee’s shiny new setting by clicking here.—Rachael Upton