As has been proclaimed all over town, Nina Compton's restaurant, Compère Lapin, is opening officially on June 2.
The hotel that houses the restaurant, the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, is a converted warehouse serving the Port of New Orleans. The design aims to capture a French-New Orleans aesthetic mixed with "Warehouse District cool," according to Lauren Busch Singer, vice president of the restaurant's public relations firm, Brustman Carrino.
James Beard Award finalist Parts and Labor Design Company has retained the original warehouse architecture, while adding elements of classic French décor and a modern, bohemian flair. The materials, textures, and colors range encompass wood, glass, tweed, exposed brick, and warm natural tones. Both the floor and ceiling have diamond patterns to reflect its French design inspiration.
The restaurant seats 86 with an open kitchen and 80-foot cocktail and raw bar made from reclaimed pine from other areas of the hotel. Floor to ceiling French doors facing out to Tchopitoulas Street, gas lights, oak tables, and a blue chevron wall with dry goods shelving displays of wood that was found in the ceiling of the hotel. "Walnut and brass blown glass light fixtures complete the look and set the mood," says Singer.
If you can't wait till June 2 to check it out, never fear: this week, the restaurant is offering $39 prix fixe preview meals. And you can always drool over the upcoming food and cocktails until then.