New Orleans restaurateur Al Copeland, Jr. has plans for a new Latin-inspired restaurant in the Garden District. Nolé is set to open its doors at the former Cheesecake Bistro location at 2001 St. Charles Avenue on April 1.
The new restaurant will celebrate a marriage between Latin American and New Orleans cultures and cuisine. Nolé will feature the food inspirations of Chris Lusk partnered with Al Copeland, Jr.
In an atmosphere that celebrates both Latin America and New Orleans, the spacious restaurant will serve a menu created by chef Chris Lusk.
Lusk has culinary training, working and traveling with chefs from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, and other Latin American countries. Lusk previously helmed kitchens at Cafe Adelaide, the Caribbean Room and Restaurant R’Evolution.
The menu will feature “an innovative take on familiar fare” like utilizing red beans in salsa and serving Latin street corn with lime aioli, blue crab, and creole cream cheese. Other featured items include paella using chorizo and cochon du lait and a traditional Latin American pork stew with cracklins.
Lusk says his love for food has been a life-long passion. He watched his grandparents, cattle and produce farmers in Texas, bringing local ingredients to life in dishes with heavy Latin American influence.
“These two cultures although geographically different have so many similarities. The tie between the two cuisines comes from the way the food is treated and revered,”Lusk said in a press release. “Al and I wanted to pay a homage to both cultures of food, the richness of flavors and the tastes that complement each other organically. Both cultures spend each meal talking about the next; they display their love of spices and sauce everything for flavor. The ingredients from both cultures pair well together. Both have a passion for life that’s unparalleled in any other culture. In New Orleans, you could be walking down the street and a parade start, same thing happens in Latin America. Whether through festival or carnival, everything is a party.”
The shuttered Cheesecake Bistro occupied the space since 2001 before closing in May 2018. The restaurant was opened by restauranteur Al Copeland, who also founded the popular Popeyes fried chicken chain.
Nolé will open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with brunch on Sundays. The restaurant will also feature signature Latin and New Orleans inspired drinks at their bar. Happy hour will be available seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.