After seven years of New Orleans fandom and national accolades from outlets like the New York Times, Bon Appetit, and more, innovative Mid-City restaurant Marjie’s Grill will close on December 20, owners announced on Instagram today, November 10.
“The business model that we opened with just isn’t sustainable today,” partners and couple Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs said in the post, later telling Eater, “We used to be a weekly dinner spot for a lot of our regulars. We have had to price them out, and that is not what Marjie’s Grill was intended for.”
Their restaurant, which debuted in 2016 after a test run as a pop-up called Sparklehorse, focuses on barbecue and seafood inflected with Southeast Asian flavors, often cooked on a Santa-Maria style grill, in a casual, funky setting. The seasonal menu is often influenced by the cuisine and flavor profiles of Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos, melded with the meat-and-three style approach of Southern diners. The drink offerings, meanwhile, follow a high-low approach, with natural wines and craft cocktails mixed with canned beers and Miller High Life on draft.
Carney and Jacobs kept the inside of the restaurant pretty simple, utilizing a mix of cafeteria-style tables, banquette seating, and four-tops, and adding eclectic furniture and decor alongside a bright, tropical mural framing the open kitchen window. The back patio is a prime seating area.
Over the years, Marjie’s also became a popular catering option, so the chefs and co-owners have plans to focus on and expand that business, which tends to have lower overhead. Jacobs and Carney told the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate that while Marjie’s as we know it will close, they are exploring new iterations for 2024. That includes functioning as an event space focused on catering, but also potentially moving to a reservation-only model that operates as a supper club a few nights a week. Jacobs and Carney are “still conceptualizing” what that would look like, they say.
Jacobs and Carney, who also own and run Seafood Sally’s in Uptown, have a brand new venture forthcoming. They are partners in Porgy’s, an ambitious seafood market and restaurant opening later this month in the Mid-City space formerly home to Bevi Seafood Co. They are collaborating with the owners of downtown cafe Carmo for the business, which is intended to expand residents’ access to a greater variety of Gulf seafood including amberjack, mackerel, blue runner, and porgy.