When the beautifully-crafted iron sign outside of Mimi’s in the Marigny came down in fall 2020, longtime fans of the neighborhood dive feared its permanent loss — even more so when a new bar and restaurant, Anna’s, opened in its place this month. Now, Marigny drinkers and diners can look forward to Mimi’s return this fall, in the familiar neighborhood space formerly home to Feelings Cafe.
Mimi’s in the Marigny founding partner Mimi Dykes announced on Facebook Sunday, June 27 that she will open a new version of Mimi’s just a few blocks away at 2600 Chartres Street, as first reported by NOLA.com. The address was most recently home to raw bar and restaurant Cru from chef Marlon Alexander. Cru replaced Feelings Cafe, a longtime restaurant that originally opened in 1980, changing hands a number of times over the years before permanently shuttering in 2018. Like the old Mimi’s, the Chartres Street building is two floors; Dykes told NOLA.com that she’s working on the new layout now (including where the pool table will go, an essential part of Mimi’s atmosphere).
The kitchen at the new Mimi’s will be led by a new chef, Matthew Kopfler, who has been running pop-up L’Enfant Terrible for several years, including a stint operating out of Molly’s at the Market in the French Quarter. Mimi’s was known for an elevated bar menu of Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired small plates; Kopfler, who incorporates a great deal of produce from local growers into his food, plans to follow a similar blueprint.
The former Mimi’s, which Dykes co-founded in 2003, closed at the height of the pandemic last year after bars had been sidelined for months. A number of New Orleans’s most-loved dive bars closed around the same time, including nearby neighbor Lost Love Lounge and French Quarter icon Johnny White’s, while others got new owners or went up for sale, like Uptown dive Miss Mae’s and longtime French Quarter gay bar the Golden Lantern.
While Mimi’s was closed, Dykes split with her former business partners, selling her share of the bar but retaining rights to the name. Her former partners brought in a new group affiliated with the LeBlanc + Smith team (Barrel Proof, Sylvain, Cavan), and began developing a new bar under the Mimi’s name, prompting Dykes to file suit. LeBlanc dropped the name after learning of the lawsuit, as reported by NOLA.com, and opened Anna’s at 2601 Royal Street in mid June 2021.
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- Mimi’s in the Marigny will return, with plans to open new bar in this historic building [NOLA.com]
- Marigny Standby Feelings Cafe Will Reopen as a Raw Bar from Chef Marlon Alexander
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