The Council For The Preservation Of The Po Boy Sandwich does not approve of Melba’s Po Boys restaurant owner Scott Wolfe’s scheme to circumvent New Orleans’ Airbnb restrictions.
Short-term rentals are forbidden in the French Quarter so Wolfe decided to attempt a work around. He offered his mansion up on the Airbnb site without charge for rental if the prospective lessee would buy $575 in po boys at his Melba’s restaurant.
Wolfe had been told that his original listing was in violation of city ordinance, and he was not fined, but instead told to remove what amounted to an advertisement from the Airbnb site. Instead, he edited the ad making the rental “free” if the prospective renter would agree to buy 20 po boys.
Laughably, Wolfe was planning on making his money going and coming as 20 shrimp po boys at his brick and mortar cost just $219. Here’s the charlatan’s ad:
“New Orleans has recently prohibited vacation rentals in the French Quarter which is why we are looking to give it to you FREE. You order a 20 Po-boy catered Party at our famous old school po-boy shop named Melba’s for $495 (weekdays because we like to discount the bread) and $595 (weekends because food is in high demand then) and that gets you ONE night in this single-family home.”
It would not take an Oliver Wendell Holmes to see through Wolfe’s tactics.
Wolfe was fined $15,000.