Morning Call’s final call in City Park set for Jan. 20

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NEW ORLEANS — Morning Call, an institution in New Orleans since 1870, will serve up its last order of beignets on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Co-owner Bob Hennessey said Friday night it will only be a matter of time before the 24-hour coffee and beignet stand will be open elsewhere after it lost its home in City Park to rival Cafe du Monde.

Hennessey said he’s looking at two possible locations and hoped to have news about a new location in the coming weeks. He declined to say where either location is located.

The pending closure marks the ends of a monthslong saga that pitted Morning Call against City Park and Cafe du Monde.

In June 2018, City Park’s board tossed out Morning Call’s bid for a 10-year lease in the park’s casino building after Hennessey and his brother missed a pre-bid meeting. The Hennessey brothers later sued, and an Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge later ruled in their favor, tossing out the lease City Park signed with Cafe du Monde.

That sent the bid process back to the drawing board.

In December, Morning Call came in third when it rebid for the space.

Cafe du Monde offered the highest monthly rent: $25,760. Next highest was Cafe Beignet, which offered $25,100.

Hennessey and his brother came in third with $23,800.

City Park has not yet formally awarded the lease to Cafe du Monde, but it is expected to do so soon.

Hennessey said he and his brother could not offer anything more than what they did in their bid without it becoming a financial burden that would have to be passed on to customers.

Morning Call had operated a store in Metairie from 1974 until May 6, 2018, when the owners closed it, citing rising rent and falling business.

At the time, the Hennessey brothers said they would focus on the City Park location, which was more lucrative.

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