New Orleans superstar Big Freedia is set to make history as one of New Orleans’ first Black hotel owners. The rapper has announced plans to open a new entertainment venue called Hotel Freedia near Decatur and Frenchmen streets.
According to Nola.com, the new venture will have a restaurant, music club, pool and micro boutique hotel. The project is expected to start this spring and the goal is to have Hotel Freedia open for business by Mardi Gras 2024.
“This dream of mine has been in the works for a long time, I’ll be one of the first Black hotel owners in New Orleans. Will keep y’all posted on the official opening date, can’t wait to see y’all at Hotel Freedia,” Freedia posted on Twitter.
The idea for the project came to Freedia during the pandemic while cooking family soul food recipes for friends.
“Not being able to go out and work during the pandemic, cooking brought so much light and creativity it just really got me interested in doing a restaurant,” Freedia told Nola.com. “And I always had a dream of opening a hotel, so it just kind of came together that way.”
While the project bears the name of Freedia, the building at 2114 Decatur Street is owned by developer Zach Kupperman who is developing the concept with Freedia and several other local investors.
Despite being called a hotel, the project will have only five rooms, and “will be more of a music club and bar with food and an outdoor pool-party space than a traditional lodging establishment,” according to Reid Martin, Freedia’s manager and a partner in the project.
“The hotel is not the economic driver of it,” Martin added. “It’s primarily a music venue and a pool party spot. Think of a country club with a music venue.”
Martin added that Freedia will use Hotel Freedia for performances and will also be available to other local and national musicians.
“Obviously, Frenchmen Street is all about local music so we want to have a lot of local music going on, but we’re also interested in having some national music coming in,” he said.