Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, chefs and owners of Coquette, laid out the details of the restaurant they are planning for the former Shamrock Tavern space located the Lower Garden District, reports the Uptown Messenger. They met with the Coliseum Square Association, which was very receptive to the idea, to propose details for the project on Monday night. The restaurant could open as soon as six to eight months from now.
The 30-seat restaurant, which they are calling Thalia, would be affordable enough that someone could dine there a couple times a week with per person checks ranging from $25 to $30. They didn’t share details about the menu, but they did say that the coffee would come from French Truck and the pastries would come from Debbie Does Doberge. Initially, they plan to serve dinner five nights a week with plans to expand in the future.
The Shamrock Tavern, a segregated bar with a separate entrance for black and white customers, operated from the 1930s to the 1960s. Since the Shamrock Bar days, the space has been used as a boarding house and, most recently, a millworks business. Large, faded Dixie beer murals still cover the walls. Essig and Stoltzfus plan to preserve as much of the original details as they can.
The business partners, who are also a couple, told a story that they were scouting out apartments so they could move in together, according to the report. Instead, “he called me and said, ‘Hey, I didn’t find an apartment, but I think I found our restaurant,’” Essig said.