Scary news from Uptown: Beloved fine dining restaurant Patois and its customers were robbed by a trio of gunmen last night, Thursday, August 20, Robert Morris reports, but thankfully nobody was hurt. The armed men entered Patois at 11 p.m. wearing masks. Morris reports that "the first man through the door wore a skull-type mask over the bottom half of his face, creating such a surreal visage" that co-owner Leon Touzet didn't realize the man was even holding a gun. The trio proceeded to demand purses, wallets, and money:
The men forced everyone in the restaurant to lie on the floor — pressing their guns to the heads of many of the 15 and 20 people there, counting (owner Leon Touzet) and his employees — then took everyone's individual purses and wallets as well as the money in the cash register.
The robbery lasted about five-minutes— witnesses agree it was a 'well-planned', methodical attack—but the cops reportedly took forever to respond. One customer claims he'd already gotten off a 20-minute phone call with his credit card company before they arrived. The delay was likely due to a series of carjackings happening simultaneously. Detectives reportedly had "leads by midnight related to some of the property taken."
WWL also points out how dark the street corner is at Laurel and Webster, where Patois is located:
UPDATE 8/21 at 1 p.m.: The Times-Pic reports that chef/co-owner Aaron Burgau was not there at the time of the robbery, but arrive before the police did. The robbery was caught on surveillance and "police said they are processing a vehicle they believed the robbers used to flee the restaurant," a stolen Kia found at South Robertson Street between Milan and General Pershing. [NOLA.com]