Todd A. Price gets the first look inside French Quarter icon Broussard's $1 million renovation project this week, and reveals the restaurant may reopen sometime in September. You may remember that back in March, Zeid Ammari and Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts? owners of Cajun Quarter hotness Kingfish? purchased the restaurant from longtime owners Evelyn and Gunter Preuss, and around May, announced they would be closing to renovate. Or as Ammari basically calls it, polishing the diamond back to its historical beauty (at $200,000 over budget).
Price reports that the transformation is somewhat shocking, with the entry hall, which was once bedecked in nudie-cherub tiles and antiques, "now a streamlined and grand hallway" leading to the large Empire Bar. The dining rooms are being refreshed, preserved, recarpeted and basically renovated back to historical snazziness with Italian wallpapers, antique light fixtures, new wine cabinets, and other design elements that local designer Brian Bockman (who designed Kingfish) has brought to the table. Also of note: There's totally redesigned bathrooms, new kitchen plumbing, and a $40k landscaping makeover happening in the courtyard.
As for staff, chef Guy Reinbolt, most recently of the Sheraton New Orleans, will head the kitchen, and update the classic French Creole menu. Legendary barman Paul Gustings of Tujague's (and lately Serendipity) fame will run The Empire Bar, and the extensive wine program will be overseen by Galatoire's and Maximo's alum/sommelier and GM Chris Ycaza.
Judging by the gallery accompanying Price's article, it looks like there's still a bit of work to do, despite the planned September opening. Meanwhile, their website is also getting a fancypants makeover as well. No word on if they'll still throw down for Oktoberfest or not.
· Broussard's Restaurant Undergoes $1 Million Renovation [NOLA.com]
· All Broussard's Coverage [-ENOLA-]
Broussard's famous courtyard [Photo: Facebook]