New Orleans’s Bywater neighborhood has a new taco joint, opened by the couple behind the neighborhood’s popular backyard pop-up, Rosalita’s Tacos. Laurie Casebonne and Ian Schnoebelen opened their restaurant of the same name on New Year’s Eve, in the former home of St. Claude Avenue bakery Shake Sugary.
The couple purchased the building at 3304 St. Claude Avenue over the summer after Shake Sugary’s closure, announcing plans to open their restaurant in the following months. They’d been popping up as Rosalita’s Backyard Tacos on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday for two years, steadily gaining customers from beyond the neighborhood as well as national recognition. Rosalita’s short menu of tacos, quesadillas, black bean tostados, nachos, toquitos, and burritos remains mostly unchanged, though customers can now add rice and beans to make their order a plate, and there’s an excellent new salsa to round out the fresh hot sauce offerings. The couple has also applied for a liquor license.
Casebonne and Schnoebelen formerly owned and operated Italian neighborhood favorite Mariza in the Rice Mill Lofts, which has since become chef Nina Compton’s acclaimed Bywater American Bistro. They sold Mariza in 2018, wanting to take a step back from the 24/7 restaurant life. They got into the pop-up game a few months later with their low-key taco stand, where customers lined up in Rosalie Alley off N. Rampart Street in Bywater three times a week. The new counter-service restaurant, located just a block away from the alley, keeps the same low-key vibe while adding covered, spaced-out outdoor seating. For now, there are no interior tables, though that may change as it becomes safer to offer indoor dining.
Rosalita’s is open at 3304 St. Claude Avenue Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. for takeout and outdoor dining.
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