TWO MORE BIG RESTAURANT CLOSURES HIT NEW ORLEANS THIS WEEK

Here, Eater keeps track of all the important bar, restaurant, bakery, and cafe closures New Orleans diners need to know about in 2023. See a closing that Eater New Orleans missed? Drop us a line.

November 2023

Seafood Sally’s

Less than a month after announcing the impending closure and reconceptualizing of their acclaimed first restaurant Marjie’s Grill, owners Marcus Jacobs and Caitlin Carney are shutting down their second restaurant, Seafood Sally’s. The abrupt closure is prompted by a plumbing issue, they say, telling Eater, “We simply cannot afford to fix it.” The permanent closure follows a temporary one earlier this fall, a pause prompted by the need to replace flooring in the kitchen. Despite leasing the building, this second “major maintenance issue” is forcing an immediate closure, owners say, with Seafood Sally’s last day on Friday, December 1.

The Rabbit’s Foot

A self-proclaimed “modern bodega” serving coffee, pastries, and sandwiches and specializing in local and regional products is closing on Sunday, December 3, owner Ryan Murphy announced this week. The Rabbit’s Foot opened in March 2022 at 2042 Prytania Street, taking over the long-empty space formerly home to corner grocery store Zara’s Supermarket. Murphy, who most recently opened cafes for Stumptown Coffee, wrote, “The last 6 months crushed us and we couldn’t keep going carrying debt that we gained after Hurricane Ida delayed our opening by 7 months.”

Tava

A year and a half after opening in the CBD to great fanfare, Tava Indian Street Food closed on Saturday, November 18. Chef and owner Manish Patel’s words on the closure echoed the recent sentiments of several restaurants shutting down this fall, citing the increase in food and labor costs, but also bad customer behavior that was all part of the “daily roller coaster” of running a restaurant. Tava opened in March 2022 after years as a pop-up and then a stint as a vendor at the now-closed Auction House Market.

Gasa Gasa

Gasa Gasa, Freret Street’s beloved indie music venue, has closed its doors following a final show on Tuesday, November 14 — two years after reopening with new owners. According to Gambit, some employees were planning a walkout due to late pay when the owners, a group that bought and reopened the bar in 2021, decided to close and put the bar up for sale. Since the closure, one owner has told My Spilt Milk, a website covering New Orleans music, that bar sales during shows had significantly declined in the last six months.

October 2023

The Crazy Italian

This Harrison Avenue gem announced its impending closure on Instagram at the end of October. The last day for New York-style pizza, calzones, lasagna, gelato, and cheesecake at the traditional Italian joint is Sunday, November 5, 2023. It’s a blow to the Lakeview neighborhood, which treasured the no-frills family-run restaurant set among a row of businesses between Fleur de Lis and West End. It was one of a wave of pizzerias in the last few years that boasted the use of a filtration system intended to match the water of New York, believed by many to be the key to the city’s famous pizza crust.

Club Caribbean

“New Orleans’s only true reggae club” had its last weekend blowout on Bayou Road in mid-October, ending a 24-year run at that location. It’s not the end of the road for Club Caribbean however; the venue is on the hunt for a new location and has already popped up for Caribbean Saturdays at Handa Wanda’s on Dryades Street.

September 2023

Riccobono’s Peppermill

A Metairie institution for nearly 50 years, Riccobono’s closed its doors on Sunday, September 3. It was prompted by the retirement of owner Vincent Riccobono along with restaurant manager Cami Chiarella earlier this summer, but the closure doesn't impact the other local restaurants in the family network: Riccobono’s Panola Street Café, Sala NOLA, and Café Navarre. The Creole Italian mainstay popular for breakfast leaves a void breakfast and old-school-style service; the building at 3524 Severn Avenue is up for sale with a deal pending.

August 2023

Hambone

Hambone, the highly acclaimed Mandeville darling that opened in 2018 just blocks from the lakefront, has closed. In an Instagram post late last month, the restaurant’s chef and owner Lauren Smith said: “The current landscape of the industry along with unforeseen issues has forced us to step away from the restaurant we love so dearly.” Smith took over the Gulf South comfort food restaurant in 2021 from the original chefs and owners, Luke and Marci Hidalgo.

Elysian Seafood

Elysian Seafood, the longtime anchor of St. Roch Market known for its top-notch oysters, crab cakes, and gumbo, also announced its closure via Instagram this month. Brandon and Jennifer Sherrod Blackwell are going all in on the catering arm of their business, Elysian Events Catering, after eight-and-a-half years at the market. Luckily, their spot at St. Roch will be filled by a longtime team member, Tina Clark, who is opening her own business called Genevieve Foods.

Le Chat Noir

After less than two years as one of New Orleans’s hottest new culinary destinations, Le Chat Noir abruptly closed in early August, citing high overhead and this year’s “summer slump.” The restaurant, a partnership between James Reuter and Gene Todaro, was led by talented young chef Seth Temple, who wowed with creative, technique-driven preparations of vegetables and seafood. Given the sudden nature of the closure, it’s unclear if staff were given any advance notice.

Mucho Más

Oak Street’s splashy new Mexican restaurant has closed just six months after opening. The highly-anticipated spot from chef Julio Machado and owner Shawn Toups closed after employees walked out in late July, alleging weeks of missed payments. Despite public proclamations that the restaurant is reopening with a new name and menu, owner Shawn Toups says no such plans will move forward until employees are paid. Read the full story here.

Mahony’s French Quarter

Mahony’s Po-Boys & Seafood closed its second, French Quarter location last week, five years after opening. The original po’ boy shop on Magazine Street, which has been in business for 15 years, remains open. At the time of the expansion to the French Quarter, Mahony’s culinary director said the location would be a “playpen” for experimenting with new ideas, and to put out feelers for further shops, though the brand hasn’t expanded further.

Beth Biundo Sweets

Beth Biundo will close her six-year-old Baronne Street bakery on August 19, the pastry chef announced on Instagram last month. The former Lilette pastry chef and James Beard semifinalist opened the bakery, Beth Biundo Sweets, in 2017 after nearly five years of operating popular pop-ups and an online shop. Excitingly, Jeremy Fogg, who’s had a pop-up bakery called Mae’s Bakeshop the last few years, plans to open a bakery in its place at 3917 Baronne Street, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.

July 2023

Cypress Cakes

Cypress Cakes, the charming bakery opened in early 2022 by local baker Margo Robert at 1919 St. Claude Avenue, is closing. It will remain open for the month of July for coffee, cake by the slice or whole, pastries, muffins, cupcakes, and more, Thursday through Sunday. As part of the announcement, Robert says she will spend these next few weeks figuring out “what the next version of Cypress Cakes looks like for us.”

Piece of Meat

This summer brings the end of the current iteration of Piece of Meat, Mid-City’s highly acclaimed butcher shop-turned-steakhouse. After five years, owners posted to Instagram in early June that the restaurant will close sometime in July, though no specific date has been announced just yet. Leighann Smith and Daniel Jackson, who first opened the New Orleans butcher shop and counter-service sandwich spot on the corner of Bienville and Rendon Streets in April 2018, have said they are ready for a “reset,” and that while there may be more from them in the future, it’s time for a break for the restaurant as it stands today.

June 2023

Secret Birria

Secret Birria, a counter-service taco shop that specializes in birria at 323 Octavia Street, is ending its mysterious two-and-a-half-year run. This Thursday, June 22 through Sunday, June 25 is the final week for the takeout shop, owners announced on Instagram. A succinct menu of birria tacos, ramen, birriaritos, fried fish tacos, and a few more items gained a huge following upon its debut in late 2020, and was the city’s only spot dedicated entirely to birria, the slow-cooked lamb, goat, or beef Mexican stew that became 2020’s most proliferated taco trend. While the owner preferred to remain anonymous, adding to the shop’s intrigue, it is widely known that the building is owned by Darryl Reginelli, the founder of Reginelli’s Pizzeria.

Brothers Ole New Orleans Cafe

48-year-old West Bank favorite Brothers Ole New Orleans Cafe, located in Harvey, will close its doors for good on Saturday, June 24. The classic, old-school restaurant that’s best known for breakfast, po’ boys, and plate lunches has a slew of longtime regulars, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, thanks in large part to the friendliness of owners Risha and C.J. Abadie. The couple has sold the space to the grocer next door, Ray Jaber, and plans to retire.

May 2023

504 Craft Beer Reserve

May 31 is the last day for 504 Craft Beer Reserve, which first opened in 2016 to the delight of New Orleans craft beer connoisseurs. The beer shop and taproom has been a longtime favorite for local beer nerds, reopening in October 2022 after a brief pandemic-related hiatus. The shop held a farewell party on May 21, a few days after owners announced the news via Facebook. As part of the heartfelt goodbye message, owners wrote: “We remain optimistic for what the future holds, and we look forward to crossing paths with all of you again.” Customers have until midnight to enjoy the taproom and stock up on beer, tables, coolers, chairs, and beer memorabilia.

Egg Roll House

After nearly 40 years as a Metairie Chinese takeout favorite, Egg Roll House on Veteran’s Boulevard will close on June 26, 2023. The news first surfaced on a Metairie neighborhood Facebook page in April and has since been confirmed by owner Theresa Chien, who told the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate that the family-run shop can’t see sustaining the new rent when their current lease ends. Ricky and Theresa Chien, who have not yet decided if they will reopen in a different location, opened the homey counter-service shop in 1985.

Brown Butter

Mid-City’s Brown Butter will close at the end of May, co-owner and manager Simon Beck informed customers on Monday, May 8. In a message sent to the restaurant’s mailing list, Beck wrote that the owner of the building recently informed owners that the Brown Butter space was being converted into a medical facility, and that “We tried to negotiate an extension, but the deal had already been done.” Beck and Dayne Womax opened the family-friendly neighborhood restaurant serving modern Southern comfort food in 2015, winning acclaim and a slew of loyal regulars (thanks in no small part to its egg-topped and pimiento cheese burgers). Brown Butter’s last day of service will be May 27, 2023, with Beck saying this isn’t goodbye forever: “We’ll see y’all down the line somewhere.”

Congregation Coffee

As of Monday, May 8, Congregation Coffee’s Algiers Point cafe, in addition to its Tchoupitoulas Street roasting facility, is closed. The nationally-acclaimed company ceased roasting operations in early May, but the fate of the beloved West Bank neighborhood coffee shop was unclear. On May 8, however, Congregation announced on Instagram that Sunday, May 7, was the cafe’s last day. Founder Eliot Guthrie said in the post, “I remain hopeful we will be back in one form or another, but for now, we’re gonna take a little break.” Guthrie previously said he is in negotiations with a local group interested in maintaining the brand.

April 2023

Chap’s Chicken

Effective Friday, April 30, fried chicken favorite Chap’s Chicken is closed, the restaurant announced on Instagram. Formerly set in Lakeview, Chaps relocated to Old Metairie a few years back, but remained a go-to for breakfast, po’ boys, blue plate specials, and made-to-order fried catfish and chicken. In the announcement, proprietors James Harvey and Cary McCann said, “Please know that this is not goodbye forever, but rather a temporary farewell. We are exploring opportunities to come back stronger and better than ever before.” Chaps’ hours at 3343 Metairie Road through Friday are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Neutral Ground Coffee House

Sunday, April 23, was the last day — and last open mic night — for Neutral Ground Coffee House on Daneel Street after 40 years. Co-owners James Naylor and Caroline “Phant” Williams say they are actively searching for a new location, and in the meantime they’ve made plans to keep the weekly open mic night, Neutral Ground’s calling card, going at a nearby event venue called NOLA Spaces.

Rahm Haus

The end of April spells the end of Rahm Haus — for the foreseeable future, at least. The artisan ice cream pop-up-turned-retailer that took New Orleans by storm after opening in June 2020 will release its final weekly menu on Friday, April 28, and will continue selling pints and scoops on Camp Street until inventory is depleted (so likely sometime in early May, founder Jillian Duran says). Duran announced last month she is taking a “hard pause” on the business after a whirlwind three years, citing the nonstop work it’s taken to keep the small operation successful. Check the website for an updated inventory of available pints through the end of April.

Gracious Bakery Mid-City

The original location of Gracious Bakery will close in early May, Megan and Jay Forman announced in April, more than 10 years after opening it at 1000 S Norman C Francis Parkway. It came down to numbers, Forman told Eater, saying sales at the Mid-City location never returned to pre-pandemic levels and that a big piece of the bakery’s sales fell out when the Coca-Cola building next door closed up shop. Two other locations of Gracious Bakery, in the Garden District and Uptown New Orleans, will remain open.

March 2023

Parran’s

Parran’s Po-Boys, a 45-year-old New Orleans institution for po’ boys and Creole Italian specialties, closed the doors at its most recently-opened outpost, Parran’s at 4920 Prytania Street, in March, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. Owner Al Hornbrook has decided to concentrate on the two original locations in Metairie and Kenner, declining to resign the third location’s lease five years after opening to great fanfare in 2018.

February 2023

One Eyed Jack’s

For two decades, One Eyed Jacks in the French Quarter was known for dance parties spilling onto Toulouse Street, raucous live performances, and its Bingo Show. It relocated in early 2022 to Decatur Street, right by the French Market, to make room for new owners and a new live entertainment haven, the Toulouse Theatre. Now, One Eyed Jack’s on Decatur has closed, with owners announcing the end of the road for the venue on social media over the weekend (one of its original founders, Rio Hackford, died in April 2022). The folks behind it sound like they’ll stay in the business, continuing to produce performances as they did for the Toulouse Theater when it first opened.

Paulie Gee’s

Paulie Gee’s, a fabled Brooklyn pizzeria that’s expanded outside of New York with multiple locations, has closed its downtown New Orleans location, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. Paulie Giannone opened the Crescent City slice shop in the short-lived Warehouse District home of Italian import Bonci pizza two years ago, specializing in neo-Neapolitan thin-crust pies and Sicilian-style pizza, also served by the slice. Giannone told the newspaper he’s “eager to reopen in a different location in New Orleans” and is currently looking for a spot that receives more foot traffic.

Beard Papa’s

The New Orleans location of a Japanese-founded bakery chain with more than 500 locations across the globe closed over the weekend, with its last day on Sunday, February 26. Local couple Thu Le and Hung Cao opened Beard Papa’s at 4712 Magazine Street in June 2021, posting to social media over the weekend, “Our very small business was started by our family as a dream to do more and be more. Unfortunately, the times are too hard and have taken so much from us personally to carry.” The now-enormous global chain was founded in 1999 in Japan by owner Yuji Hirota — the name and logo are inspired by his beard — and serves create-your-own cream puffs with various shell and custard flavors.

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