A promising Hawaiian grill that opened over the summer in the former El Libre location has closed after just two months, Aloha Grill & Sushi confirmed to Eater Wednesday. Aloha Lei, the restaurant’s Auction House Market sushi stall predecessor, remains in operation.
A tipster let Eater know that Aloha Grill & Sushi’s door was locked when they arrived for lunch on Saturday, and that a self-identified owner packing up inside told them the restaurant was closing due to unforeseen circumstances. An owner confirmed the closure to Eater, but has not yet responded to a request for further comment as of this posting. The restaurant and sushi stall’s website no longer lists the grill’s location and info, as it did previously.
Aloha Grill & Sushi opened in mid-August about a month after Uptown Cuban spot El Libre closed. The restaurant expanded on the sushi and poke offerings from the Aloha Lei stall with a Hawaiian-Southern grill menu, and was one of the only places in town to serve musubi, a beloved Hawaiian snack made with Spam, rice, and nori (seaweed).
Chef Tracey Davenport and her partner and husband Dave Kirtland started the Aloha Lei stall when Auction House Market opened in the Warehouse District food hall nearly two years ago. It was the first restaurant for Kirtland and Davenport, who has cooked at Brennan’s and held sushi chef roles at Sun Ray Grill and Metairie’s Conola.
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