White Star Market, the Mid City food hall that shuttered due to coronavirus mitigation measures, has notified its landlord it will not reopen—even after the government lifts the stay-at-home order.
Architect Josh Hoffpauir—who designed and co-owns Square 46, the mixed-use development on Government Street anchored by White Star Market—confirms he received a letter March 27 from White Star’s owner, Clark Gaines, stating that because of the pandemic the food hall is permanently closed.
In a statement to Daily Report, Gaines says, “based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the proclamations that have been issued, we could no longer operate our food hall at Square 46, nor could our vendors sustain themselves.”
Gaines goes on to say that he asked his landlords for rent abatement and the request was denied.
“Based on Louisiana law and the fact that I cannot operate a restaurant in the leased premises, we had no choice but to terminate the lease,” he says. “All of us are suffering through this catastrophic pandemic, especially those in the restaurant industry like White Star and its hard-working, loyal food vendors.”
The permanent closure of White Star Market comes almost two years after what had been the highly anticipated opening of the food hall in May 2018. In the months since, it has been often cited as an example of a Mid City renaissance and an example of Government Street’s resurgence.