The chef/owner/genuine nice guy Tres Barnard of We've Got Soul, one of New Orleans' best pop-ups and a coveted Eater hidden gem, was robbed of his entire restaurant savings on Friday night.
What started out as a fantastic weekend, with We've Got Soul selling out of food at Marie's by 9 p.m., soon turned into a nightmare. Barnard and his crew walked the few blocks back to the house he shares with girlfriend, Emily, on Burgundy around 10 p.m. to unload equipment and the night's earnings. They locked up, went out to relax at their favorite haunts, and upon returning home around 3 a.m., discovered a burglar had snuck down the side alley and broken in the back door.
"I walked in and noticed the T.V. was gone first, " Barnard told Eater this morning (he's only had five hours of sleep since Friday). "They took my flat screen, laptop, all the money we'd saved, over $2,000 dollars, everything. I had just started turning a profit, and was going to open a bank account. I don't have a car, so going to a bank is difficult." Especially when there's hardly a bank within, like, a mile radius of your home. To make matters worse, it took the cops five hours (and four phone calls) to finally show up at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. "I think the cop felt bad though, because he actually dusted for fingerprints. And then there were cop cars parked in front of my house, Marie's, Lost Love, and Mimi's the next day."
While Barnard thinks somebody he knows may have ripped him off, he is certain he was being watched. He's lived in his current home for about six months, and before that, he lived in the house right next door for two whole years. "They knew where my money was. It wasn't out in the open. And I had saved all the patches from my chefs coats, because we were going to make a collage out of them, and they took the patches from K-Paul's and Royal Sonesta. I don't have any enemies, you know."
If anything Tres Barnard has a lot of friends. The lady he gets his shrimp and crabs from in Chalmette got her friends to donate 80 lbs of shrimp for a boil by donation this Friday, October 26, at Marie's on Burgundy and St. Roch, around 6 p.m. Tonight a portion of profits at Lost Love Lounge will be donated to We've Got Soul, and there will also be a Pass The Hat while you watch presidential candidates pass the buck on the flat screen. You can also donate via Pay Pal here (scroll to bottom of screen for the link).
"We just want to get back up and running again," Barnard says. As you might imagine with a pop-up, they've been operating (quite successfully) on a tight budget, and giving back to the community too. "We just cooked at the Night Out Against Crime, and donated 100 meals on Tuesday, and now this."
· We've Got Soul [Official Website]
· All We've Got Soul Coverage [ENOLA]