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Cafe Nola returning, in spirit, to South Street

Original owner Bill Curry is converting Redwood, his bar at 328 South St. into Hurricane Alley.

Cafe Nola, which enjoyed a 15-year run on South Street until 1996 before a series of moves throughout the neighborhood, is being revived in its original location, at least in spirit.

Original owner Bill Curry is converting Redwood, his bar at 328 South St. and next door to his Copabanana, into Hurricane Alley. Curry had used the Hurricane Alley name for the bar within the original Cafe Nola.

Menu testing of Nola's original Cajun and Creole dishes is underway, and the rebranding will begin shortly. First, Hurricane Alley will become a sort of po-boy and gumbo shop serving lunch in the daytime with a reduced bar menu at night, Curry said.

By October, the more traditional dinner menu will be released.

Curry is timing the transition roughly to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of New Orleans.

Curry and a partner opened Cafe Nola next to the TLA Theater in 1981. Nola, along with a few other "better" restaurants such as Montserrat and Knave of Hearts, helped in the revival of South Street.

After Nola's 1996 bankruptcy, it moved to 603 S. Third St., 623 South St. and 117 South St. for brief periods.

In 2001, Nick Ventura brought back Cafe Nola at what was Ventura's Euro Cafe at 414 S. Second St., across from the Headhouse Square shambles. That restaurant closed earlier this year after a filing for bankruptcy protection.