The South's Oldest Coffeehouse
HOURS OF OPERATION
OPEN 7 DAYS PER WEEK
7pm-12am - Sunday-Thursday
7pm-1am - Friday-Saturday
Our story begins back in 1974 when Greta rented a house on Maple St. and opened a coffeehouse called the Penny Post. Penny Post patrons enjoyed a homey atmosphere for meeting friends, playing games and listening to live entertainment. Then, in 1977, there was a kitchen fire. It did quite a bit of damage and Greta decided not to reopen. Instead, she offered the business to a group of dedicated regulars and suggested they run it as a co-op. Their quest for a new location ended at 5110 Danneel Street, the former home of a seedy uptown neighborhood bar called the Red Lion. Taking Greta's advice, the Penny Post was set up as a co-op, owned and operated by its membership. Anyone could, for a small yearly fee, become a member. Members were asked (but not required) to volunteer for the various duties involved in running the coffeehouse. Being a member made you part of the family. Members received monthly newsletters in the mail and discounted prices on coffee and pastries, along with inclusion in the occasional member events, such as picnics and camping trips. The Penny Post grew and flourished. Then, in the early 90's they started having financial problems, and had to close down. Deprived of their "third place", a few determined members decided to try again, and in 1992 the Neutral Ground was born.
The Neutral Ground was the Penny Post incognito. Same rose, different name. It looked like the Penny Post, it sounded like The Penny Post, and even felt like the Penny Post. And, like the Post, the Neutral Ground was a great success and thrived for many years. Alas, in the end, the Neutral Ground suffered its own financial losses and closed its doors. Core members kept in touch via the internet, searching for a way to reinvent the Neutral Ground. Rumors began to circulate... someone's buying the Neutral Ground. Hope battled with the fear that the new owner might turn it into something horrible, or worse, boring.
Their fears were for naught. The buyer was none other than long time Neutral Ground family member, Philip Melancon. Phil reopened the coffeehouse and kept the Neutral Ground spirit alive. Katrina did her damage, but The Neutral Ground has bounced back, strong as ever. As long as there's a New Orleans, there'll be a Neutral Ground.