The Future Home of SoFAB

As you may have heard, SoFAB is getting ready to move on to bigger and better things in 2014! Our new home will be a 30,000 square foot building at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. Architectural renderings from the Office of Jonathan Tate are shown above of the proposed exterior and interior. Our official opening date will be announced soon, so stay tuned for more details!

 

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The existing building at 1504 O.C. Haley Blvd.- the former Dryades Market – will be converted into the home of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.  The museum, known as SoFAB, is the 5-year-old, award-winning, unique museum of culinary culture and history.  Plans for the building include the Museum of the American Cocktail the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery, , and the Gallery of the States.  The Gallery of the States will feature exhibits which transport visitors on a culinary journey to the other states of the South and the District of Columbia.

The project also includes the Jenn-Air Demonstration Kitchen (a kitchen auditorium and studio) and the Culinary Innovation Center (CIC).  The CIC is a certified commercial kitchen that can be leased to support the culinary entrepreneurship of the community. There will be a museum shop and a full service restaurant and bar. The museum anticipates 4 new employees and the restaurant/bar is anticipating 15 new employees.  It is anticipated that the opening of SoFAB will bring at least 35,000 visitors to the museum each year.

The second phase of the museum complex, to be built on the adjacent lot facing Martin Luther King, is in the planning stage.  When it is completed, it will house additional galleries, offices, a children’s gallery, and a rooftop garden.  During the planning phase, this area will serve as a demonstration garden and patio for the museum.  It is anticipated that Phase II will begin soon after the opening of the museum.

The SoFAB Culinary Library and Archive is now open just down the street at 1609 O.C. Haley Blvd. The non-circulating culinary library is open to the public for research and browsing. When all the collections are cataloged, it will be home to over 11,000 cookbooks as well as many documents and other archival materials reflecting the culinary history of the city and state. This library is the first library in this neighborhood in the last 40 years.

This is incredibly exciting for us, and we want to keep all of our new and old followers in the loop. We’ll be sharing information about our progress on this page as well as on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can sign up for our weekly newsletter to have more updates delivered to your inbox.



The building we are renovating used to be the Dryades Street Market, a bustling center of commerce for food in the Uptown area that opened in 1849. Learn more about the history of Dryades Street here.

If you want to support the museum and this big next step, please consider becoming a member here, donating here, or even just letting us know your thoughts by emailing info@southernfood.org

Read Judy Walker’s article in the Times Picayune about the big move by following this link. Read more about the redevelopment happening already on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in this article by Fox 8. WWLTV discusses the upcoming revitalization of the O.C. Haley corridor here. This article from the Gambit also discusses the planned revitalization of O. C. Haley Boulevard, and even talks about us!

Check out the start of Dr. Bob’s new project for the museum! These will be hanging over each state’s exhibit, filled out with Dr. Bob’s signature style. Check our Facebook Album for more photos.


The future roof garden on top of the new SoFAB building.