Robert Morris has the scoop on a possible restaurant and distillery that could take over Halpern's furniture store on St. Charles Avenue in the Lower Garden District. Jess Bourgeois, who's worked for the Superior restaurant group for the past nine years and has some time at Commander's Palace under his belt, met up with the Coliseum Square Association this week to dish about his plans for Lula restaurant (the name is a nod of the head to a sugar mill in Assumption Parish). The focus of Lula would be on local Southern cuisine, and the distillery would churn out vodka, gin, and rum, all using Louisiana sugar.
Here's what Bourgeois has in mind for Lula:
· The floor plan calls for 35 tables with room for about 175 when bar seating is included
· Lula's pricing would be moderate, in the "mid-teens"
· The atmosphere: casual, friendly, and kid-friendly. "I know we have a distillery attached, but I think that could be an informative situation as well," Bourgeois said. 'Cause start 'em young, right?
· About 1,000 cases of vodka and 500 each of gin and rum would be produced per year
· Custom-built copper stills from Germany would be used in the booze-making process
This hasn't even hit the City Hall permit department yet and Bourgeois said he's still ironing out lease details with Halpern's, so this a down-the-road project that could call for a zoning change. But if it's smooth sailing, construction could get cracking late this year with a 2015 opening.
· Distillery/restaurant proposed for Halpern's location on St. Charles Avenue [Uptown Messenger]
· All Pre-Plywood [-ENOLA-]
[photo: Google maps]