A little over a week ago, Chef Greg Sonnier mentioned plans that would transform his banquet hall, The Uptowner, into a halfway house for prisoners. But before the neighborhood backlash could go into full effect a zoning violation was filed, and now the Henry Clay Avenue property is officially on the market. The building is zoned residential and has five-bedrooms with 6,300-square-feet of living space. According to The Uptowner's website, the structure was built in 1836 and was a grocery store, a pharmacy in the 1920s, a beauty salon, sweet shop, and "The Electric House" air conditioner store before The Uptowner Banquet Hall opened in 1962. Sonnier and his wife, Mary Sonnier, bought the place in 2006 for $550,000 with plans to re-open their Mid-City restaurant Gabrielle in the space, but a whole lot of neighborhood beefing and a years-long battle over zoning and permits with City Council stopped those plans. The Uptowner's asking price: $795,000.
· Listing: 438 Henry Clay Ave. [movoto]
· Uptowner event venue back on market [City Biz; sub. req.]
· Zoning violation already filed on Uptown halfway house plan [Curbed NOLA]
· The Uptowner [official site]