Chris Hannah, the acclaimed bartender who led Arnaud’s French 75 bar to a James Beard Award, is leaving to open Jewel of the South with fellow bartending star and Manolito business partner, Nick Detrich, NeatPour.Com reports.
Among Hannah’s bartending contributions at the French 75 during his 14 years there include putting one of the city’s lost historic cocktails, the brandy crusta, back on the menu — effectively bringing it back from obscurity according to Punch magazine.
The new fine dining eatery, taking root at 1026 St. Louis Street in the French Quarter, pays homage to a 19th century establishment by the same name. Interestingly, it was also the birthplace of the brandy crusta. Jewel of the South was also the first restaurant to serve gumbo, according to NeatPour.Com.
Plans for the restaurant include both upstairs and downstairs dining rooms, a courtyard, 19th century furniture including an antique bar originally from London, and a menu focused on highlighting the city’s culinary history.
It isn’t a total surprise that Hannah is leaving the French 75. The first sign that an exit was near came in February, when he, Nick Detrich, and Konrad Kantor announced the opening of petite Cuban bar, Manolito.
Jewel of the South will open this fall.