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Lower 9th Ward Market plans to build an internet cafe

Over the past couple of years, this market has expanded non-stop

Burnell Cotlon’s Lower 9th Ward Market, has quickly become an essential hub for its community.
Photo by Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

In Late August, Lower 9th Ward Market owner Burnell Cotlon announced plans to convert a neighboring single-family home into a free-to-use internet cafe and employment center. Cotlon says this is the first of its kind in the community.

“To me I’m an average guy, but I have above average dreams,” Cotlon told Curbed New Orleans last June, referring to the Lower 9th Ward Market’s future. “My dream is to see my community—the Lower 9th Ward—to catch up with the rest of the city even if I have to build it by myself. Right now, it looks like I am going to build it by myself.”

Damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Cotlon and his team of volunteers have successfully gutted the building and installed some lights. While Cotlon’s Market offers free Wi-Fi, he wants to dedicate a space for people to comfortably assess the internet for school and employment purposes. Cotlon notes there are few places to access the internet for free in the community.

Coming Soon..An Internet Cafe in the Lower 9th Ward

Watch a preview of what's next in the Lower 9th Ward: An Internet Cafe! We are moving along, but will need help to open to the community sooner than later. Please stay tuned for updates and a campaign, or email Burnell ( or Ben ( if you'd like to help. Credit: The Greenhouse Collective (

Posted by Burnell's Lower 9th Ward Market on Friday, August 25, 2017

“I’ll tell you something I learned in the military: Any is plenty. Whether you come out and donate one-hour or donate $100. It’s just me; I need as much help as possible,” he added.

This past Summer, Cotlon unveiled New Orleans’s first music playground called The Hangout. Created by The Urban Conga, The Hangout is a large digital turntable. It has a series of illuminated, touch-sensitive cylinders that will emit musical notes on contact.

In September of 2016, Cotlon opened the first laundry facility in the Lower 9th Ward post-Hurricane Katrina.

If you’re interested in volunteering, email Burnell Cotlon directly.