There will always be those folks that are just too stubborn, or, some would say, too stupid, to evacuate.
Johnny White's is famous in the Big Easy as the bar that NEVER closes. Open 24/7/365, it somehow stayed open during Katrina and the aftermath. So, of course, this tiny little locals bar, popular with the late night service industry crowd, has no plans to close for Gustav, either.
I popped in to say hello. Marita, working today until 11 tonight, confirmed what I knew would be the case. They'll be there come Hell AND High Water.
Johnny's is a tiny bar, with only a half-dozen stools. It was full, for the record. Helping her keep things in order is her dog, whose name I didn't get. He didn't seem too worried about things. :-)
Further up Bourbon toward Canal was a Philly Sub Shop called Chubby's. They've only been open a year or so, but it run by Nawlins natives, and they're not closing either.
Security was not a problem there, either. They've set out free coffee and sodas for the uniformed folks, and the place had several NOPD cops and NG troopers ordering, and believe it or not, PAYING for their sandwiches. They do make one helluva cheesesteak.
Not shown on the menu are the daquiris and beer. :-)
Like many Nawlins businesses, it's a family affair. I talked briefly with Dominic, who assured me that they were staying open. I asked him what he was going to do when the power inevitably failed. He simply shrugged and said they'd figure something out.
I asked him what he was going to do for customers after the curfew came into force. He laughed and waved at all the uniforms in the place.
The only time he wasn't smiling was when I pointed the camera at him.
Running the the grill was his dad, Barry.
The French Quarter did not flood during Katrina. I am willing to bet it will not this time either. The Quarter, and the Garden District, are two of the oldest sections of the city for a reason - they are the highest in elevation. The neighborhoods that flooded for Katrina are parts of the town that were only developed upon after the levees were built. They were essentially undrainable marsh before then. These folks will have to deal with an extended loss of power, and maybe minor flooding from the rain - it is not uncommon for Bourbon to overspill its gutters simply from the torrential downpours the city sees. But storm surge? I'll bet good money not.
The other Katrina problem was looting. With the improved enforcement this time around, that won't be a problem either.
I don't think that these folks are as foolish as many might believe.