Dwyer was a bartender at the 1930s-era, bare-bones steakhouse in the Milan neighborhood for years before buying the restaurant from the Petrossi family, its original owners, in 2007. The family closed Charlie’s in 2005 when it was damaged by flooding after Hurricane Katrina, and it remained empty for two years prior to Dwyer’s purchase. He reopened the restaurant in 2008 to the delight of its loyal fans, maintaining the tradition of no printed menus, and the kitchen only serving steaks and classic sides like onion rings, creamed spinach, and potato gratin.
Dwyer’s close friend and longtime Charlie’s manager Glenn Bove told NOLA.com that a heart condition appears to have caused Dwyer’s death. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Charlie’s did not open on Friday. Bove told NOLA.com that he “couldn’t say for sure what the plans for the restaurant will be,” though he noted an outpouring of support and offers to help out at the steakhouse.
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