NOLA Native Mark Bologna Discusses All Things New Orleans on Beyond Bourbon St. Podcast

Mark Bologna is a native New Orleanian whose family owned the famed Teddy’s Grill in Gentilly, until it closed in 2006. He attended Brother Martin High School and, after living outside of the city for 15 years, he returned in 2012, so that he could raise his children in the city that he was proud to call home.

In 2015, Bologna started the podcast Beyond Bourbon St. in an effort to share information and stories about New Orleans through a local lens and share how people can best experience New Orleans. The podcast airs bi-weekly, on Wednesdays, wherever you get your podcasts. Now on its 139th episode, discussions range from local craft beer discussions to books about New Orleans and, of course, local cuisine. Everything about New Orleans is covered by an array of guests who are experts on such subjects as history, culture, music and food.

“People always wonder if we’re going to run out of things to talk about, but people keep sending topics in,” said Mark Bologna.

As far as some “must listen” episodes of the podcast, Bologna has some suggestions.

“My favorite episode is probably episode 6, because I got to interview my dad about the history of the poor boy,” he said. “That was a special one. Another important one was [episode 66] where we discussed the tragedy of the Upstairs Lounge fire.”

Bologna notes that another particularly important episode was episode 54, in which the history of slavery is discussed. The episode features information about Whitney Plantation and the guest is Joy Banner, Director of Marketing at Whitney Plantation.

With over 850,000 downloads to date, Bologna recognizes the responsibility he has to share history and information that is important to locals; guests often include museum curators, musicians and historians.

Also, because Bologna wants his daughters to have strong female role models, he makes a point of including women on his podcast regularly.

He said, “They are too young to listen to the podcast right now but, when they do, I want them to hear from these women who are experts in their field and about different topics that are related to New Orleans. We’ve had Sally Asher on the show, who wrote Stories from the St. Louis Cemeteries of New Orleans, which is one of my favorite books. I’ve interviewed Polly Watts, owner of The Avenue Pub, who is doing beneficial and incredible things in business, especially since the pandemic.”

The podcast also features a majority of women-owned businesses as sponsors, such as Two Chicks Walking Tours and Sweet Olive Soap Works.

In addition to the podcast itself, Bologna is also proud of its affiliated Facebook group, Beyond Bourbon St. Krewe, which boasts nearly 11,000 members. The group has become a bright part of Facebook where members are able to discuss New Orleans history in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Bologna will also release a book next year. Like the podcast, Beyond Bourbon Street: An Insider’s Guide to New Orleans will explore the people, places, music, history and culture that make New Orleans unique. It is available for preorder here.

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