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Quarter Icon Irene's Could Lose Its Current Location By 2018

The building, currently owned by the Louisiana State Museum, does not wish to renew the restaurant's lease.

flickr/Jim Hobbs

Irene's will likely have to find a new location when its lease goes up in February 2018, according to The Times-Pic.   This is the situation: The Louisiana State Museum purchased the building where Irene's is located in the early aughts with the stipulation that tenant/restaurateur Irene DePietro could finish out her 15 year lease. With 2+ years left on that lease, museum director Mark Tullos has basically already told the board it won't be renewed and that Irene's "should leave."

The museum has converted the four-story building at St. Phillip and Chartres into climate-controlled storage for its huge collection of Louisiana history, which which begs the question...why did they choose to buy a location with a beloved restaurant on the ground floor—or as Tullos calls it, "300 years of history over an open flame"—in the first place? Even if Irene's lease gets renewed, the rent would likely skyrocket from its current $5,180/month to the Quarter's commercial going-price of about $14,000+/month. No final decision will likely be made until 2017, however, so you can still make it in for a romantic evening of lamb chops and piano tunes and the possibility that 200 boxes of soiled French pantaloons are resting overhead.

Irene's Cuisine

539 Saint Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 529-8811