New York-born restaurant Nobu is expanding to New Orleans, the company announced Tuesday, saying by 2024 it will open a hotel and restaurant within Caesars New Orleans, the forthcoming “multimillion dollar transformation” of Harrah’s New Orleans.
The Nobu empire can be a bit confusing for anyone not immersed in global luxury lifestyle brands — Nobu started as a single restaurant opened in New York in 1994 with chef Nobu Matsuhisa at the helm, backed by actor Robert De Niro; it soon became a global Japanese icon. The first Nobu hotel opened at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2013, followed by more hotels in Miami, Palo Alto, Chicago, and Malibu, as well as at least eight other locations worldwide. The new expansion is a partnership between Caesar’s and Nobu, and includes two new Nobu Hotels and restaurants, in New Orleans and Atlantic City. There are also plans for a new Nobu (restaurant only) at Paris Las Vegas by 2022.
A $325 million renovation of Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino, which is under the Caesars Entertainment brand, was first announced in December 2020, as was the name change to Caesars New Orleans. When announced, the revamp included plans for a new, 340-room hotel tower to be completed by 2024, along with other expanded amenities like a live music venue. The partnership with Nobu is new, however — while the overall development will be called Caesars, there will be a hotel within the hotel called Nobu New Orleans, as well as a Nobu-branded restaurant.
At his first restaurant in Beverly Hills (called Matsuhisa) and then Nobu in New York, Matsuhisa became known for his inventive blend of Japanese dishes using Peruvian ingredients, such as black miso cod and yellowtail jalapeño, helping set fine-dining trends globally in the early aughts. While the Caesars’s announcement on Tuesday didn’t include further details about Nobu New Orleans, the chain — which now has more than 40 locations around the world and is a celebrity favorite in cities like Los Angeles and London — is especially known for its consistency across locations.
New Orleans saw the debut of some major hotels this summer, with back-to-back openings of the Four Seasons New Orleans and Virgin Hotels New Orleans in mid-August, along with their respective restaurants, Miss River, led by chef Alon Shaya, and Commons Club, with chef Alex Harrell at the helm.