Lakeview’s Mondo, a neighborhood staple since 2010, will close next Saturday, August 17, according to a press release sent Friday. Chef and owner Susan Spicer, who also owns and runs the critically-acclaimed Bayona in the French Quarter and Rosedale in City Park, sold the building to a new operator who will open a family-friendly restaurant called Elle-J’s.
Spicer is a longtime resident of the Lakeview neighborhood, and opened the seasonally-driven Mondo in part to help the neighborhood thrive in post-Katrina recovery. Spicer and chef de cuisine Candis Koerner serve up a global menu with dishes like Gulf fish ceviche with guac, shrimp mei fun noodles and wood fired pizzas topped with the likes of D’Anjou pear, prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula.
Spicer called the closing “bittersweet,” saying that as she approached to end of her lease at 900 Harrison Avenue, she “went with my instincts.” She also noted she’s prioritizing shifting Mondo employees to 30-year old Bayona, three-year old Rosedale, or restaurants belonging to industry friends and partners.
The restaurant moving into the space, Elle-J’s, is being billed as family-friendly, and will serve Italian staples, seafood, and steaks. It’s the latest in a wave of family-friendly restaurants landing in Lakeview, including the just-announced Junior’s on Harrison and Azul, from the former owner of Cava. No word yet on when the neighborhood can expect Elle-J’s.
Mondo will live on, however, as its slated to be among the slew of restaurants gracing the new MSY airport terminal, supposedly opening this fall after months of delays.
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