Commercial lease of Bourbon Street music landmark the focus of federal appeal

By October 20, 2015Lease

Briefs have been submitted to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in a dispute spanning nearly 6 years in state and federal courts. At issue is whether the tenant has entitled itself to assume a commercial lease in its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; also at issue is the extent of damages caused by the tenant’s breaches.

The landlord is Lilly client Absinthe Bar, L.L.C. – a nod to 400 Bourbon Street’s former identity: Old Absinthe Bar (“A-Bar”). Award-winning author Richard Campanella writes in his recent book, Bourbon Street: A History: “A-Bar’s closure came to be viewed as a requiem for New Orleans culture in general and Bourbon Street in particular. All that remained of the old motif was the antique protruding sign – until Hurricane Katrina’s winds swept it into the hands of a pilferer.”

The building at 400 Bourbon Street was described by the former director of the Louisiana Music Commission as “one of the most significant historical musical landmarks this city has left.” Campanella writes, “[b]lues musicians, playing in punch-clock shifts daily from noon to the wee hours, made the so called “A-Bar” a favorite for local music lovers who otherwise hated Bourbon Street, as well as for luminaries such as B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant.”

Indeed, when Page and Plant released their eighth Led Zeppelin album In Through the Out Door, they commissioned Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell’s London (Hipgnosis) studio to create six distinctive album covers – each of which recreated A-Bar at 400 Bourbon.

Whether you need to protect a centuries old building on Bourbon Street or you’d just like a sensible approach toward becoming a commercial landlord, let’s talk about how to make your commercial lease work for you and your tenant.

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