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Dec 10, 2009 08:50 AM

Sale of Galatoire's (Moved from New Orleans)

The long-simmering deal to sell the restaurant has boiled. Times-Pic reports Todd Trosclair bought 75% of the shop on Tuesday and then sold a majority of his shares to Imperial Trading's John Georges. Trosclair to be chairman. The deal is different from any others that had been rumored for months.

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  1. Well, I must say that today's Friday's lunch will be most interesting in decades. Tut Kinney is quite the man through all this to be able to get the 2 deals done within 24 hours. The day of the deal was Trosclair's birthday, too. I'd give SMellvin through Carnival season.

    14 Replies
    1. re: savory south

      So how unhappy is the family about all this? If Georges was interested from the beginning, why the straw-man deal? Odd. Very odd.

      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        I've heard nothing directly but I think you can figure it out. Think lawsuits.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          On our last trip, we did not manage to hit Galatoire's...despite the purchase of the Perlis linen suit!

          Should I infer that we should get back very soon? Is the feeling that there will be substantive changes to the dining experience?

          1. re: Monch

            The Party Line is that it is Business As Usual and, in fact, the whole place is practiced in making it work as always(ther are some differences between now and 1965 but that is another discussion). The new majority owner, Mr Georges, is on record as saying he sees no reason to change anything. Now, if there were to be a top-to-bottom clean-out of staff, well, shudders to think. But no, I see no reason to worry about that at this point. Let's see what develops.

          2. re: hazelhurst

            As an aside....It is one of my great disappointments that we never got to Uglesich's. I would hate to miss the grandeur of Galatoire's.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              The only thing odder than the ol' ownership switcheroo this week was chef Greg Sonnier qualifying for a council at large seat.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                Wow! This is where some guy in PHX, who thinks he's kinda' "in the know," has been blind-sided. Go off to DC for a week, or two,and you miss a lot.

                Thanks for bringing me up to speed on this. Please update this thread, when more info is forthcoming.

                I feel like the rube, sitting in the dust, as the turnip truck pulls away from the curb...


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I spoke with a neighbor who is a close relative of Gooch and no changes are expected. However, you always hear that with a buyout or merger and sometimes it is just PR smoke.

                  We shall see.

                  1. re: collardman

                    This is like the team owner's "dreaded vote of confidence" in the coach. Only time will tell.

                    This thread got me to thinking. What if I was the new owner of Galatoire's? What changes would I make?

                    Well, it came down to only two:

                    A few downstairs table on reservation. First come, first served on those few.

                    Fill in the hole in the upper-middle of the wine list. There are good choices at the lower end, and then there's a big jump. One has to have very deep pockets to make that step. It's about like going from US$200 and nothing until you get to US$1800. Even pre-K, I found this hole to be bothersome, but common with higher-end NOLA restaurants. I'd fill in that hole.

                    Not much change, and nothing to the food. There are many NOLA restaurants that are doing nouveau NOLA, and some do it very well. Keep the traditional. Do not tinker with success.

                    Please keep us (the non-locals) posted. Should have gone on my last trip, just to have a more current frame of reference.



                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I think we can all agree that there should be no tinkering and I think anyone who did so would be foolish. If you are buying something successfull, well, that speaks for itself. On the other hand, I have seen more than one restaurant fail to survive an ownership change.

                      I don;t think they need many of the superior quality wines just becuase it is not that "kind of place." I dod not mind the old days when the "wine list" was at the back of the menu and just said American: Cabernet or what-have-you. there was decent stuff and some people kept their own stock. But today a better wine selection is expected and you are right, there is often a hole between the superlative and the insulting.

                      I'd bring back real ice--which was not shaved, as many people seem to think, it was chipped--and I get rid of that loathsome bar gun in favor of the waiters making the drinks and using real tonic that comes in little bottles the way God Intended. And of course I would tighten dress codes.

                    2. re: collardman

                      It's all in the details - I would imagine it's set up so that the LG Trust will set the agenda for the future, maybe 6 votes - 1 for each LG, MG, DA and 1 for TK representing the trust and 1 each for Trosclair & George's. So it always leans to the Trust to have the majority. No other owners. I have to hand it to Leon, Michelle, Attaway and the LGTrust to file against SMelvin, Gooch and investor group Conwill /Bollinger/White, et all from acquiring ownership. If that would have happened, it would have been much more radical of a change.

                      As I said in my posting on 10/26, the expression on Gooch's face, when he
                      got the phone call - that apparently let him know that the lawsuit was going
                      in the Trusts and not his or Melvin's favor - was priceless.
                      It seems the staff is happy about the results of the lawsuit & sale too.

                      1. re: savory south

                        i re-read your 10/26 post, but im not aware of the back story. what was the lawsuit about?

                        1. re: kibbles

                          I've not looked at it and don;t care to air laundry but essentially it was an assertion that the proposed sale of teh restaurant was for too low a value and that the price suffered from, shall we say, someone not handling things well. It's public record and some has been reported in the Picayune.

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            Brett Anderson/Times Picayune on the lawsuit from 1/09

                            (Thanks for the reply hazelhurst. Haven't been to B.R. in years)