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Big Freedia is Bringing Her Own Hotel, Restaurant, and Venue to NOLA Nightlife

by Emmaly Anderson

What could be more fitting than the Queen of Bounce opening an all-encompassing party spot in the Big Easy? The rapper’s exciting new venture, aptly named Hotel Freedia, was first announced in April of last year and is expected to open just in time for Mardi Gras in the spring of 2024, according to Eater, though Big Freedia promised to “keep [us] posted on the official opening date.”

 Big Freedia, who celebrated her 45th birthday last week, took to Twitter on February 1st to share her excitement about the “boutique luxury hotel, restaurant, swim club, and live music venue” with fans. 

Though she is most well-known as a rapper, dancer, author, and speaker, true Big Freedia fans know about her talent and passion in the culinary world, as she’s hosted pop-ups at popular nonprofit eatery Café Reconcile, worked on a cookbook, taken fellow celebs on culinary tours, and live-streamed cooking shows during the pandemic, so the restaurant endeavor comes as no surprise.

Hotel Freedia’s restaurant, though details are still being finalized, is sure to feature her recipes. In an interview with Essence in April of last year, she described Hotel Freedia as “a place where people can come if they want to have a cup of coffee in the morning and do some work on their computer, it will also be a great event space for people to come and have dinner.” She went on to say that, “It also will turn into a club space where people could come and party and see a concert. So many things will happen at Hotel Freedia that will definitely have all the locals and tourists stopping by to see what’s happening.”

In the same interview, the self-proclaimed Queen Diva specifies that the venue is at the back of the French Quarter – the historic heart of New Orleans famous for its nightlife – where visitors will have a chance to “get the whole full New Orleans bounce experience.” 

Located on the Decatur and Frenchmen streets in a 4,800-square-foot building, Hotel Freedia is set to have just five guest rooms, in addition to a 60-seat restaurant and music venue on the ground floor, and a pool and clubhouse above. The hip-hop icon has rolled out plans to, at least initially, sell membership to the venue through NFTs. Reid Martin, Freedia’s manager, said that though the venue will be open to the general public, membership purchased through NFTs will grant attendees special access to Hotel Freedia’s “courtyard pool and and rooftop hot tub and bar, first-come, first-served access to guest list spots for non-sold out shows, exclusive room rental discounts, and exclusive food and beverage offers,” according to Eater.

Freedia said that the idea for the establishment came to her during the pandemic. She was inspired to open a restaurant as cooking became a source of creativity and joy for her during lockdown, and opening a hotel had long been a dream of hers, “so it just kind of came together that way,” according to a report from nola.com. The opening of Hotel Freedia will make the star one of the first Black hotel owners in New Orleans.

Top Image: Photographed by M. Sharkey

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