The future of longtime New Orleans steakhouse Charlie’s has been uncertain since the sudden death of owner Matthew Dwyer this summer, but a return is on the horizon, reports NOLA.com. Charlie’s Steak House will soon reopen in its Uptown home under the ownership of local chef and restaurant owner Aaron Burgau, with a kitchen led by Neil McClure, the pitmaster behind the beloved McClure’s Barbecue.
NOLA.com reports that Burgau and his wife Kim closed a deal this week with Dwyer’s brother Owl and his wife Heady, as well as two other couples, to revive the steakhouse. Burgau has a long history as a chef in New Orleans, cooking at Susan Spicer’s Bayona before helping open fancy Uptown bistro Patois in 2007. In 2016, Burgau partnered with pitmaster Rob Bechtold to open the much more casual Central City BBQ, which has since become one of the city’s top destinations for barbecue.
Despite his chef-centric background, Burgau will serve as owner/proprietor, while McClure will run the kitchen. McClure is the pitmaster behind McClure’s Barbecue, which had a restaurant Uptown for a few years and most recently operated out of Nola Brewing (he closed the taproom location in July after losing his lease). McClure says he still hopes to reopen in a new location at some point, but in the meantime has been able to secure roles for a few of his former staff in moving over to Charlie’s.
The bare-bones neighborhood restaurant has been around since 1932, serving only steaks and simple, traditional sides like potato gratin, onion rings, and creamed spinach in a homey atmosphere. Dwyer, who started his long career at Charlie’s as a bartender, died in July at 49. He had owned the restaurant since 2007, when he bought it from its original owners two years after Hurricane Katrina forced its closure. He reopened the Dryades Street institution in 2008, where he kept up the steakhouse’s longtime traditions like no printed menus and metal plates.
NOLA.com reports Charlie’s Steak House will reopen at 4510 Dryades Street, still without printed menus, by the end of this month.
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