The Louisiana Restaurant Association recently projected that one in four restaurants statewide won’t survive the pandemic, and they gave a bleak outlook for New Orleans.
In New Orleans, the LRA estimates up to 40 percent of restaurants could fail because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Some New Orleans restaurants have already suffered business casualties, most notably the permanent closure of the iconic K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen.
As the ongoing pandemic continues to impact the restaurant industry, we’re tracking a list of notable permanent restaurant closures amid economic woes tied to COVID-19.
Below is a running list of New Orleans-area restaurants permanently closed for economic reasons related to the pandemic:
This list is continuously being updated as high-profile restaurants announce permanent closures due to coronavirus-related financial impacts. Check back for updates as we get them.
Oak Street favorite DTB, short for Down the Bayou, shut its doors after a three-year run Uptown.
On Aug. 21, a spokesperson for the restaurant confirmed to NOLA Weekend its decision to permanently close.
“It really is a shame. We worked very hard to build a talented team that was set to succeed. The support we received has been tremendous and we are so thankful for it. It was the prospect of an uncertain future and an unknown timeline to return to some semblance of normalcy that prompted ownership to make this very tough decision to close,” a statement from DTB general manager Robert Wailes said.
DTB shut down operations in March at the start of the pandemic before reopening for dine-in service in July under a new chef, Johnathan Klaskala.
The restaurant opened in 2017 as the brainchild of the late chef Carl Schaubhut and Jacob Naquin, with its take on modern coastal Cajun cuisine and craft cocktails.
Namese in Mid-City announced via social media that it’s closing for good.
“We have come to the difficult decision that we must permanently close our doors. Thank you for the years of your patronage and the memories we have of serving you,” a statement posted on July 23 read.
The Vietnamese cafe on the corner of South Carrollton Avenue and Tulane Avenue rose to prominence for its comfort Vietnamese food with a New Orleans-style twist, with favorites like pho, crabby rice and banh mi.
K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen
In one of the most notable restaurant casualties during the coronavirus pandemic, news of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen’s permanent closure shook the food world. The decision to shut down the restaurant came after repeated closings this year due to mandated business restrictions, the iconic French Quarter restaurant announced in July.
A statement released by the restaurant said, “With gratitude for many happy and successful years, the management team of K-Paul’s is regretfully announcing permanent closure of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen.”
After nearly 30 years in business, Semolina closed its last remaining location at Clearview Mall in June.
Throughout the Greater New Orleans area and beyond, Semolina was positioned as a family-friendly pasta haven over the years. Founded by restaurant development company Taste Buds – co-founded by Hans Limburg, Gary Darling and Greg Reggio – the idea for Semolina was to take pasta and create a totally sensational taste experience.
“Like many other restaurants, the losses caused by the pandemic have become too difficult to overcome,” Reggio said in a press release.
Cake Cafe and Bakery
Popular Marigny cafe Cake Cafe and Bakery permanently closed its doors in June after serving the neighborhood for 13 years.
In a Facebook post announcing the closure, owners Steve and Becky Himelfarb said their building’s lease was coming to an end, and with “fresh prospects in sight, professionally, it is time for us to move on.”
“This is a moment of new beginning for the restaurant industry,” the post said. “The pandemic has provided unprecedented challenges to restauranteurs — ones that we believe can be overcome.”
The neighborhood spot was popular for its breakfast, pastries and apple and goat cheese king cake.
Morton’s The Steakhouse
Morton’s The Steakhouse, the upscale steakhouse chain on Canal Street, shut down its New Orleans location amid the coronavirus pandemic in May.
Morton’s chief operating officer Tim Whitlock issued this statement regarding the closure:
“Due to COVID-19 and the city’s elimination of dine-in services, we have decided to enforce our lease provisions and terminate our lease. We are grateful for the support of our community throughout the years and encourage our loyal patrons to visit us at our sister properties, Landry’s Seafood House and Saltgrass Steak House.”
BRAVO Cucina Italiana
Metairie restaurant Bravo Cucina Italiana at Lakeside Shopping Center announced in March that it would not reopen after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
According to Around Metairie, the restaurant posted a notice on doors stating, “As of today we will be closing down permanently.”
The national chain was purchased by a private equity firm in 2018 and is now owned by FoodFirst Global Restaurants.
Contact us here with information about local restaurant closures due to COVID-19 economic impacts.
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