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Look Inside Alon Shaya’s Saba Restaurant, Opening Tomorrow

‘You don’t have to get all dressed up to come here’

Saba takes over the space that housed Kenton’s before it shuttered in March, on the corner of Magazine and Nashville.
Katherine Kimball

After a meteoric renovation lasting only a few weeks, Alon Shaya’s highly anticipated restaurant Saba will throw open its doors tomorrow in the space that formerly housed bourbon-loving Kenton’s restaurant (5757 Magazine Street).

In keeping with the restaurant’s name, Saba, which means grandfather in Hebrew, the design team aimed to make it feel like a grandfather’s house: masculine, classic, and uncomplicated. To note, a portrait of Alon Shaya’s grandfather hangs next to a portrait of Shaya’s wife Emily Shaya’s grandfather above the host stand.

Studio MRS Interiors (co-founder and Morgan City native Michelle Smith is a close friend of Emily Shaya) designed the interiors in collaboration with the OJT, a New Orleans-based creative architecture and urban design practice.

“[Michelle] has really done an amazing job of making the place feel more like it belongs in this neighborhood. Opening it up, it’s fresh, it’s casual...You don’t have to get all dressed up to come here,” Shaya told Eater NOLA.

A wood-burning oven in a semi-private dining room gives some diners a peek as pillow-soft flatbread puffs up full of steam moments before making its way to the table. Shaya calls it “the pita café.” In it, there’s a long table that seats 14 people, perfect for big groups. (The restaurant is raffling off a dinner at the 14-seat “Saba’s table” on opening weekend.)

The partition that once separate the bar from the main dining room has been removed to give the space a more expansive feel and to allow for more tables.

“We want this to be a great neighborhood hang out spot. We’ll have amazing outdoor seating right on Magazine Street and then also we have a little lounge area setup in the restaurant where people can just hang out and have drinks, catch up with friends. That’s going to be a big part of what we’re all about,” Alon Shaya said.

Saba takes over the space that housed Kenton’s before it shuttered in March
Katherine Kimball/Eater NOLA
Black and white tile has been installed. The host stand is as you walk in, rather than closer to the bar as it was with Kenton’s. Bright blue frames the walls.
Katherine Kimball
On the left, Emily Shaya’s grandfather. On the right, Alon Shaya’s grandfather
Katherine Kimball
A lounge area for catching up with friends takes the spot that was Kenton’s host stand area
Katherine Kimball

The oyster bar was removed so more seating could be added. The partition between the bar and the dining area was taken down to open the space up
Katherine Kimball
Katherine Kimball
The glassware, vases, and napkins are have a laid back quality
Katherine Kimball
The wall behind the bar is open to the “pita cafe,” a semi-private dining room that houses the wood-burning oven used for pita
Katherine Kimball
On the bar
Katherine Kimball
The semi-private “pita cafe” with a table for 14
Katherine Kimball
The wood-burning pita oven is in the “pita cafe”
Katherine Kimball
Katherine Kimball
Katherine Kimball
Katherine Kimball

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Saba

5757 Magazine Street, , LA 70115 (504) 324-7770 Visit Website

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