POSTED Wed. Aug 7, 2013
A Carrollton/Riverbend Profile: Carrollton Station
Cathy Hughes

As Carrollton’s commercial strip along Oak Street becomes more of a shopping strip for the city as a whole, the Carrollton Station bar two blocks away is a throwback to the neighborhood’s days as a more self-contained community.

The old bar has an old location: 8140 Willow St., catty-corner from the Carrollton Transit Station at the corner of Willow Street and Dublin Street. RTA workers at the streetcar barn, built in 1893, maintain the 35 Perley Thomas streetcars to their shiny 1923 condition.

The Carrollton Station building dates to the early 1900s, when it housed the Carrollton Restaurant. On Oct. 6, 1917, The Times-Picayune reported that Manuel Campos, proprietor of that establishment, was involved in World War I food service at Camp Pike in Little Rock, Ark. Some say the building also as a brothel, perhaps counting as its customers some of the streetcar workers living in nearby dormitories.

Tom Bennett co-founded Carrollton Station in 1980, in the former home of the Willow Inn, which is recalled in a stained-glass sign over the door. Eric Orlando bought the business from Bennett in 2002, and Michael and Colleen Miller took over in January.

Michael Miller had worked as a bartender at Carrollton Station in the 1990s, for Bennett, who transformed the building into a warm and welcoming music venue by adding a stage, removing walls and a drop ceiling and sandblasting paint off the tongue-and-groove cypress boards. Bennett’s decision not to allow renovation of the building’s interior in 2011 was a factor in Orlando’s decision not to renew his lease, Orlando told Keith Spera of in October 2012.

When Miller first worked at the Station, it was more of a destination for music fans, serving residents of Carrollton and the Riverbend in the same way Frenchmen Street serves downtown today. Live music was performed not only at the Maple Leaf (8316 Oak) and Carrollton Station, but at Jed’s, which later became Muddy Waters (8301 Oak) and Jimmy’s (8200 Willow).

Jimmy’s Music Club closed in 2000, and its successor, the only a little ironically named Frat House, closed in 2012. Jimmy and Joan Anselmo are engaged in fighting a liquor moratorium in the Riverbend area in order to reopen the club; the issue is on the New Orleans City Council agenda for Aug. 8. Carrollton Station is supporting the Bring Back Jimmy’s Defense Fund, and hosted a concert on Aug. 3 to raise money for legal fees.

Meanwhile, Michael and Colleen Miller, who live a block away, are focusing on keeping the regular patrons of their neighborhood bar happy. Live music is less frequent, but the great sound of the wooden music room brings back performers such as Dave Malone and Alex McMurray (Aug. 9) and Jimmy Robinson, Cranston Clements and Michael Skinkus (Aug. 23).

Weekly features include acoustic open mic nights on Tuesdays, stand-up comedy open mics on Wednesdays, and trivia competitions on Thursdays. On a recent Thursday, the trivia competition drew about 50 people, in about 10 teams (singletons readily incorporated), vying for bar tabs of $25, $15 or $10.

Beer prices are entirely reasonable, with varying $2 specials each night: sometimes High Lifes, sometimes Tin Roofs, sometimes TurboDogs. Colleen Miller is usually tending bar.

With all the new restaurants two blocks away on Oak Street, Michael Miller says he is not inclined to take on the added responsibilities of operating the Carrollton Station kitchen as a regular feature. On a recent Thursday, however, the free chili (tips encouraged) was delicious, and $1 tacos are offered on Fridays. Also, there’s no problem with bringing a sandwich or pizza from Oak Street.


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook