After serving French Quarter diners through one last Mardi Gras, 17-year old restaurant Cafe Amelie has closed its courtyard (and doors), for good, effective immediately. The restaurant closed earlier this week, Cafe Amelie owners and employees confirmed to Eater, and patrons with upcoming reservations have been notified of the closure via text message over the last few days.
Cafe Amelie has served modern Southern American-Louisiana cuisine at the 150-year old Princess of Monaco Courtyard and Carriage House on Royal Street since 2005 — the restaurant opened just a few months before Hurricane Katrina, founded by Susan Hoffman, chef Jerry Mixon, and Mixon’s partner Danny Akers. It was a hit from the start with both locals and tourists, which helped it rebound relatively quickly in the hurricane’s aftermath, becoming a destination in large part due to its lush, secluded patio. Mixon, who worked with the legendary Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s for a time, ran the restaurant along with Akers, who served as general manager, from 2005 until 2020. The couple left that summer to open Mid City restaurant Trep’s with Sidney Torres, a notorious local developer and entrepreneur. “Chef Jerry,” as he was known at Cafe Amelie, helped make the restaurant a destination for Gulf shrimp and grits, brunch, and a strong wine list.
The restaurant faced specific challenges at the onset of the pandemic, given its tourist-centric location in the Quarter and dine-in only menu. Cafe Amelie introduced takeout for the first time ever in Spring 2020 when in-person dining was prohibited in New Orleans, resuming outdoor dining when local restrictions allowed shortly after. After taking its annual summer break in 2020, it reopened in September with a new chef at the helm, former Apolline chef Michael Shelton, who was followed a few months later by chef Kenneth Humble.
Eater has asked Cafe Amelie for more information on the closure and will update this if we hear back; the restaurant said an announcement was forthcoming.
UPDATE: March 4, 2022, 10:14 a.m.: Cafe Amelie’s announcement is below; the building has been sold, and regarding future plans, the post says, “The owners of Cafe Amelie plan to relocate with a new team.”
Do you have a restaurant or pop-up tip? Noticed a spot in your neighborhood opening or closing? Fill us in.