One of the latest new additions to the French Quarter, The Will & The Way, opens at 719 Toulouse Street, taking over the location formerly home to Longway Tavern.
The new bar is the latest development from LeBlanc + Smith hospitality group, which also owned the shuttered Longway Tavern that closed in February.
Robért LeBlanc, founder of the LeBlanc + Smith hospitality group, says the need for a casual “lobby” bar in the French Quarter inspired the change in format.
“As much as we loved Longway, we felt that had been designed and programmed too much like a traditional restaurant with guests feeling that they had to order full meals when seated at the tables,” LeBlanc said. “The Will and The Way’s layout and floor plan is a far more comfortable place to get comfortably lost for a few hours with friends.”
And its location at the heart of Toulouse Street, steps away from Bourbon Street, lends itself to becoming that destination people can casually pop in for cocktails.
The Will & The Way is among a crop of recent openings in the French Quarter, including other new dining destinations Saint John and Bijou. LeBlanc hopes his revamped spot also attracts more locals back during this French Quarter revival.
“I hope that we, along with our incredible neighbors Peychaud’s, Molly’s, Toulouse Theatre (formerly One Eyed Jack’s), Preservation Hall and Sylvain, can encourage locals to begin to see the French Quarter as a neighborhood again instead of just a tourist attraction so that they may begin coming back as frequently as they did prior to the COVID shutdown,” LeBlanc said.
For The Will & The Way, LeBlanc said several changes were made to make the location “more comfortable.” A much larger L-shaped bar adds more room and seats for larger groups.
“The style of service is also far more casual, with guests ordering everything through the bar,” LeBlanc said. “The food at The Will and The Way is far more traditionally Southern in nature, as well.”
The menu caters to impromptu dining, with Southern-leaning small plates that pair with cocktails as an appetizer or a nightcap. Some items include charcuterie, handcrafted burgers, salads and bar snacks.
The drink menu includes house cocktails, with creative names like “Cash Money Dillionaire” and “Fhloston Paradise,” and a helping of classic cocktails. The cocktail menu also features a wine list and beer.
LeBlanc + Smith hospitality group also other restaurants and bars, like The Chloe and Barrel Proof.
The Will and The Way opens from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday and noon to 1 a.m. on Friday to Sunday.
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