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Acclaimed Birmingham Chef Firms Up Plans for New Orleans Restaurant Replacing Cavan

Plus, Aldi opens in Metairie, a northern Italian restaurant takes shape on Magazine Street, and McDonald’s closes on Canal Street

Plans are taking shape for the restaurant replacing Cavan.
Eater NOLA

Plans are coming together for the forthcoming New Orleans restaurant from Chris Dupont, a celebrated Birmingham, Alabama chef who helped raise the city’s culinary profile as chef and owner of Cafe Dupont for 20 years. Dupont closed that restaurant last year to relocate his family to his native New Orleans and open what he said would be his “last” restaurant in the former Magazine Street location of Cavan — though that space has been used as a film set for AMC series The Driver for the last few months. Now Dupont has shared new details with the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, saying the technique and product-driven restaurant, to be called Étoile, will open in spring 2023.

Aldi opens first New Orleans-adjacent location

Aldi, a German-born discount supermarket chain with a cult following, opened on Veterans Memorial Boulevard near Power Boulevard in Metairie this week. It’s the latest of several Aldi locations to open in south Louisiana since last year, when the company opened a handful of stores in the Acadiana region and in Slidell and LaPlace.

Costera partners plan Italian restaurant for Magazine Street

The former chef de cuisine of Warehouse District favorite Peche, Brian Burns, and a longtime Link group manager and sommelier, Reno De Ranieiri, are currently planning their second restaurant to follow up Costera, as reported by the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate this week. Osteria Lupo, now under construction at 4609 Magazine Street, is expected to open this spring with northern Italian cuisine — with an emphasis on pasta, pizza, and roasted meats — about four years after the pair opened Costera, an upscale destination for traditional Spanish specialties.

Oh no, New Orleans lost a McDonald’s

McDonald’s has closed its last restaurant on lower Canal Street, and much like the Canal Street Starbucks closure before it, some media are pointing to crime and security concerns as the catalyst. But, also like the Starbucks closure in September 2022, the franchise owner cites “a multitude of reasons,” and the company has been downsizing its number of stores across the U.S. for some time now. In other New Orleans McDonald’s news, an older store on St. Charles Avenue came down this week, in order to be replaced by the new, modern store model.