Mimi’s Music Suspended Again with Pending Court Case, DJ Soul Sister’s HUSTLE! Forced to Move

It seems that the “temporary live music permit” that Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Office of Cultural Economy promised was issued to favorite local watering hole and music venue, Mimi’s in the Marigny. The bar experience a brief hiatus during last summer’s citywide crack-down on small, independent music venues that were not zoned for live music.

At that time, Mayor Landrieu issued this statement:

“To be clear, no one from the City asked Mimi’s in the Marigny to stop live entertainment.

I’ve instructed the City’s enforcement agencies to enforce the law fairly and to take a customer-friendly approach. This means that we offer assistance in securing the appropriate permits to businesses that have been offering live music for years. In most cases, the City does not need to immediately issue summonses or administrative subpoenas, if a business owner agrees to work actively to secure the required permits. To learn how to come into compliance with City law, cultural businesses can contact my Office of Cultural Economy.

We are a city of music, and we are a city of neighborhoods. We will work to strike a balance so that they can exist together.”

Mimi's Sign

Music at Mimi's Suspended AGAIN







Yet, just last Saturday, owner Mimi Dykes announced that she has been served the day prior by the Orleans Parish Civil Court on alleged charges by four nearby Marigny residents who live nearby that her venue exceeds noise ordinances. Furthermore, they contend that her venue is not in a permitted “live music zone.”  These residents hired a law team specializing in targeting live music venues to file these accusations (Smith & Stagg). The firm will represent the small group of residents in the forthcoming Civil Court case scheduled for the bar.

Mimi’s has provided New Orleans’  live music and DJ events for over ten years, providing added entertainment value.  One of the most popular regular nights is the “Hustle” Saturday night dance party, hosted by resident DJ and respected WWOZ-FM veteran show host, DJ Soul Sister. The regular event presents all-vinyl dance sets featuring old school funk, soul, original R&B, rare groove, Latin groove, go-go and similarly-rooted music at no cover charge from 11 p.m. – 4 a.m. Recently, Dykes and Soul Sister were asked to end Saturday nights at 3 a.m. at the request of said neighbors, a request that Dykes honored. Additionally, Dykes installed sound-proofing inside her small building as well as a decibel level meter, as required over recent years. These renovations were at Dykes’ expense, but also meant that windows could never be opened for fresh air or circulation is live music was playing. Still, Mimi’s is packed every weekend.

However, it seems fulfilling all of these requests was not enough for this handful of neighbors—they’ve decided they want the music to stop completely, so they are taking Mimi’s to court. Inconsistencies in the city’s zoning ordinances, overlays and enforcement thereof appear to be a key instrument in this debacle even getting this far. The court summons last week certainly came as a surprise, considering the last word out was that Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy was “we’re working one-on-one with Mimi’s to get them the proper permits so they could operate business as usual.”

Mimi issued this official statement on April 12:

“We regret to inform you that Mimi’s has to suspend music for the time being. We will keep you informed as we ourselves become informed of the situation. Please remember that we are still your favorite neighborhood bar and continue to support us and our amazing employees. Kitchen will still be cooking and drinks will continue to flow. Thank you for your continued support.”


DJ Soul Sister Gratitude Nine Year Hustle Anniversary Party flyer

Unfortunately, this Saturday, April 20 will mark what would have been the beloved DJ Soul Sister’s 9th anniversary of her Saturday night “HUSTLE!” free dance parties at Mimi’s. Because she cannot legally DJ at Mimi’s until further notice, she, for several days, thought there would be no Hustle 9th Anniversary party, due to such short notice.

But the New Orleans music community proved once again that it sticks together when she announced yesterday that the new management at the Hi-Ho Lounge on St. Claude Avenue, not too far from Mimi’s, offered their venue for her HUSTLE 9th Anniversary Party. And yes, to their knowledge, the Hi-Ho management says they are “properly zoned” to host such a live music event.

Soul Sister says she named her 9th Anniversary party “GRATITUDE” in thanks of all those that have supported her Saturday night dance party over the years.

So it looks like we’re getting out HUSTLE on this Saturday after all!  See ya’ll on the dancefloor!



HUSTLE 9th Anniversary Party

with DJ Soul Sister

+sg DJ Stylus (Washington, DC)

@ The Hi-Ho Lounge

2239 St. Claude Ave.

11pm – 3am

NO COVER  |  21+

  • saylavie

    “…alleged charges by four new, nearby Marigny residents that her venue exceeds noise ordinances and furthermore, that her venue is not even in a permitted “live music zone.”

    The writer might want to do a bit of fact-checking before posting again on this topic. None of the people in the suit are “new” neighbors – in fact, one is an 80 year old widow who’s been in the neighborhood and in her house probably longer than most of us have been alive. Second, Mimi’s is *not* in a live entertainment zone. It is on a commercial corner and surrounded by residentially-zoned properties.

  • Mimi’s must obey the law

    Mimi you’re illegal, always have been. Now you have to “face the music” hahahahaha

    • Dani_is_great

      You are a sick horrible person. I hate you. You sound like a psychopath. Glad you tore yourself away from torturing kitty cats to type this.

  • Bye Bye Birdie

    Mimi, how can you pay taxes on your ILLEGAL operation? This writer is a joke.

  • saylavie

    I just posted the following message but it got poofed. All I did was point out factual errors in the article – why delete the comment?

    “…alleged charges by four new, nearby Marigny residents that her venue exceeds noise ordinances and furthermore, that her venue is not even in a permitted “live music zone.”

    The writer might want to do a bit of fact-checking before posting again on this topic. None of the people in the suit are “new” neighbors – in fact, one is an 80 year old widow who’s been in the neighborhood and in her house probably longer than most of us have been alive. Second, Mimi’s is not in a live entertainment zone. It is on a commercial corner and surrounded by residentially-zoned properties.

  • Bye Bye Birdie

    Mimi,, how are you paying taxes on an illegal operation? Fact check, please.

  • sa yo na ra

    Who cares??!? We should feel sorry for poor Mimi, because she’s breaking the law? HA!! Let’s write a newspaper article everytime I get a parking ticket. POOR MIMI!! She’s the obvious victim here. Now that she had to be taken to court to obey the law, she can’t act ignorant anymore. Do you understand now Mimi? Was it clear enough for you hunty?

    • music allnight

      Salavie, ByeByeBirdie, sa yo na ra, Cute words but does your mother know you are posting here? It’s past your bed time…

  • Find Out Who Your Friends Are

    So DJ Soul Sister is ABANDONING Mimi’s to go perform somewhere else? HA! Hmmmm what an ironic twist. I thought musicians stuck together?? Looks like DJ Soul Sister is after the almighty dollar just like Mimi was … unfortunately for Mimi, she’s stuck in a building where it’s illegal to have live entertainment; it’s gonna get cold and lonely Mimi when your ‘supporters’ start turning their backs on you and going to the Hi-Ho Lounge. There should be plenty of fresh air circulating for you this Saturday night, as your patrons rush out of your bar and over to the Hi-Ho Lounge. How does that SONG go — “Find Out Who Your Friends Are?” 😉

    • Jan

      Oh, what a stupid thing to say. What should Soul Sister do, risk getting arrested? Mimi has had music there for ages. She only has to stop now that the whiners got their lawyer buddy to file a lawsuit.

      • Why stop now?

        Soul SIster has been at risk of getting arrested – as has MImi – since the day they began ILLEGALLY performing at a location that has ALWAYS been zoned to PROHIBIT live entertainment. Why stop now? “She only has to stop now that the whiners got their lawyer buddy to file a lawsuit” — Absolutely incorrect. It has ALWAYS been illegal for DJ Soul Sister to perform. She shouldn’t bail on her “musician” buddies so easily. Sad.

  • Jan

    Poor Mimi. All she wanted to do was to have a nice neighborhood bar and put in some music (music and bars go hand-in-hand), keep the peace and not offend anyone. This lawsuit could potentially put Mimi’s out of business.Mimi’s has operated and had her DJ upstairs for over nine years. One Stuart Smith lawsuit, and voila, Mimi’s could be history because of four neighbors (most of them in their 60s) and a rich attorney who’ll do whatever it takes to “enforce the law” (read get rid of music) decide they want to get rid of a local bar. I find it particularly interesting in one of these comments that the city is glad to take Mimi’s tax dollars.The common thread among these complainants (Lorelei Cropley–2606 Royal; Kenneth Witkowski–725 Franklin Ave.; Jeanne Turnipseed–2607 Royal St;, Dan Harris and Diane Lease–726 Franklin Ave) is that they all live next door to Mimi’s. I would also assume that they are not people who go out to listen to local music regularly because–well, they’re old. The older you get, the more the volume of music bothers you, at least that’s what I was told by the guy from Oxford Acoustics, who’s doing the study on noise issues for the city.
    Hmmmm. So as the population ages, does that mean that we’ll have less music in New Orleans neighborhoods because self-righteous senior citizens will stop it? Even if a business has operated successfully without a problem for years in that location? With music? Why did it take nine years for you oldsters to organize to shut Mimi’s down via Smith & Co’s filed complaint? Could it be that Smith offered to file the suit pro bono? I mean he doesn’t have an agenda to keep music out of the Quarter and historic districts or anything like that, now does he?
    I think it’s really pitiful that we cannot allow for music in local bars. I agree that we need soundproofing in clubs, but I just cannot agree with shutting down entertainment just because it’s in a neighborhood….that is unless you’d like to take down every neighborhood bar in New Orleans, which would then make us like every other small city. Next, we’ll be making “last calls” at 1am! If you want to like in a homogenous city with no fun, no music, crap entertainment, no liquor, no tourists (GOD FORBID A TOURIST SHOULD VENTURE IN THE MARIGNY!), then consider moving to Metairie or the Northshore. We get it: you don’t like bars. You don’t like music…in your neighborhood. Move. Leave the rest of us–the majority–in peace.

    • Anarchy

      “Jan” you need to check your facts honey … Mimi has not paid a DIME of taxes to the city for her live entertainment because — wait for it — not only is it ILLEGAL what she is doing, but she doesn’t have the permit. Don’t you get it? It’s against the law! I don’t like the speed limits on the interstate, so by your logic, I can get on I-10 and drive 160 miles an hour for long enough that it’s okay for me to do it after a while. Wow. LOL It sucks to obey the law doesn’t it Jan? Now you’re blaming it on “old people”…How old are You??

    • Law abiding citizen

      So “Jan” gets to say who the majority is?? Furthermore, Let’s take a look at her logic: If the self-proclaimed ‘majority’ doesn’t like the LAW, they can just ignore it. HMMMMMMMMM … Jan, you were probably a proponent of Plessy v. Ferguson I take it?? So if I don’t like the 14th Amendment, and I get enough people together, we can just ignore it and force everyone to go along with it. FORTUNATELY for law-abiding New Orleanians, the ‘majority’ don’t just get to dictate and run rough-shod all over the rest of us because the zoning and laws are inconvenient for their partying. But you say it nicely, so as to appeal to your apparent readership. Bravo.

  • imnokid .

    wow. as a 60 year old musician from NJ reading this, I am amazed at the animosity aimed at someone trying to keep live music in NOLA going.

    • Operate your business legally

      You should be disgusted at Mimi’s brazen illegal operation and disregard for the value of her neighbors property values, all so she can make a buck. Check the facts of the situation imnokid before you are “amazed”. Live music in NOLA is under NO threat – by ANY means. Arguably, there are more live music venues now than there ever has been. Rampant and illegal overcommercialization and exploitation of the “music scene” is what is being challenged here. Mimi could have opened her business LEGALLY in any of the appropriately zoned areas of the city. She chose not to. Now it’s time for her to go.

      • Mimi’s is the heart of the upper Marigny and it’s been that way for a long time. Do you live here?

  • saylavie

    I’m confused. First, the problem is that the residents are “new,” then they are too “old.” Which one is it? To be an affective argument, you can’t have it both ways.

    Unless you really believe, as this publication seems to, that no one and I mean NO ONE has any rights except club owners. Residental neighbors, neighboring business, the city as an entity that can regulate land use – none of them can say boo if some club owner decides that his or her “music” should play loud and into the night, disrupting any other activity that other citizens might want to engage in. Like sleeping. Or listening to the music of their choice in their homes at a volume they control.

    • Um. They’re old people who moved into the neighborhood. Not a hard concept.

  • Karma chameleon

    I heard DJ Soul Sister is loving it over at the Hi-Ho Lounge 🙂 Hahahahaha … uh-oh Mimi … people are jumping from your flaming ship like rats fleeing a burning barn. :)) Karma.

  • Matty

    I am shocked by the meaness and animosity leveled at mimi’s, the bartenders, doorpersons, cooks, amd waiters and the musicians and dj’s who work there. (none of whom ate getting rich- but mostly just getting by- or WERE just getting by).
    I have been outside mimi’s while dj’s have been spinning and bands (most of which are trad jazz type bands playing accoustic instruments) and i could barely hear the music from the street. Now, the sound of the crowd on the street is another matter, but i know mimi’s doormen have been taking steps to control that. I know that everyone that works at mimi’s wants to do whatever they can to come to a compremise. The tone of the people writing in to attack mimi’s is so shrill and petty sounding. Maybe it’s just me They sound very mean spirited.

    • ItsKizmit

      There are quieter places to live in New Orleans. A relocation to Lakeview would do these people good.

  • Hunter

    I don’t get these comments about Soul Sister DJing somewhere else like it’s some selfish move. I suppose she should be marching in protest in front of the property instead? I also get a sense that the majority of these commenters aren’t aware that “live music” in her case and in most cases at Mimi’s means spinning records.

    • love music

      “Most of these commenters” are one person, just changing hiser name. One would guess it may be one of the neighbors, but it reads like a vindictive frustrated teenager.

  • ItsKizmit

    We support local music!