It’s lights out for Sneaky Pickle on St. Claude Avenue, as the innovative, vegan-friendly restaurant makes a move to a new Bywater home, to be followed shortly after by the launch of a new nighttime bar and restaurant under the same roof.
Sneaky Pickle will reopen for lunch in the former home of Maurepas Foods at 3200 Burgundy Street sometime next month. Come October, owner and chef Ben Tabor and team plan to open Bar Brine, a full-service restaurant with a separate menu and bar program.
“We’ve been on St. Claude for seven and a half years,” Tabor tells Eater. “Even before the fire a few years back, before the pandemic — we were already outgrowing the spot. I knew I couldn’t be here forever unless I owned the building, so it was kind of when opportunity meets preparation, so they say.”
Tabor says when Sneaky Pickle opens for lunch, counter service-style, it will mostly serve the menu patrons are used to on St. Claude — vegan mac and cheese, the smoked tempeh reuben, and the Raines wagyu beef burger, but may eventually introduce a few new dishes. When they open the “casual fine-dining” Bar Brine for dinner in the fall, Tabor says, the menu will be about 50 percent meat and 50 percent vegetable dishes, and will not be nearly as much of a set menu. “One of the things that gets me into work everyday is the opportunity to work with good vegetables as they’re available. With this menu I’ll have more freedom to do that,” Tabor says.
Tabor and team, consisting of co-owner Olivia Clarkson, Tabor’s partner, and Tabor’s brother Luke Tabor and his wife Michele Fryer, are excited about the new space. “It’s a big jump. Things were really done nicely here. We’ll have to double our sales to make it work, but we’re excited about it,” Tabor says.
“Olivia and Michele are spearheading the interior. They’re going to build a back bar, put booths along one side and a banquette on the other. We looked up old Yelp reviews and saw a lot of complaints about the noise, so we’re going to try to break up the room a little bit more,” says Tabor.
Sneaky Pickle and Bar Brine are fitting successors to the restaurant that was formerly in the space, Maurepas Foods. The highly-acclaimed restaurant from Michael Doyle opened in January 2012, showcasing produce-driven dishes and a great craft cocktail program in a casual, setting, and leading the way for Bywater spots like Oxalis, Booty’s, and Mariza. It’s sat empty since closing three years after opening in 2015.
Tabor says he plans to add at least a few tables of sidewalk seating on Burgundy or Louisa Street, joining the across-the-street neighbors Suis Generis and Bud Rip’s, a longtime neighborhood bar that only recently reopened its doors.
Saturday, July 24 is Sneaky Pickle’s last day on St. Claude. Tabor hopes to open Sneaky Pickle for lunch at 3200 Burgundy Street by late August, followed by Bar Brine in October.
Do you have a restaurant or pop-up tip? Noticed a spot in your neighborhood opening or closing? Leave a comment or send an email.
Looking for New Orleans food recs or a place to chat about favorite restaurants? Join Eater NOLA’s Facebook group.