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Tujague's to become another t-shirt shop

BayouTeche Mar 21, 2013 07:46 AM

According to Poppy Tooker, who spoke to Mark Latter (heir of Tujague's owner)....

His uncle, Stanford is selling the building to T-shirt operator Mike Matawami. The bar will become a fried chicken joint and the restaurant will become a T-shirt shop. Stanford owns the building - Steven Latter's heirs own Tujagues. Apparently, Matawami will pay 5.2 million for the building.

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  1. h
    hazelhurst RE: BayouTeche Mar 21, 2013 08:05 AM

    Ah, fried chicken Bonne Femme..I can hardly wait. And I like the novelty of a t-shirt shop--we need more of those. I will stop by and pick up something 'smart" to wear to Commander's or Antoine's next trip/

    1. s
      sanglier RE: BayouTeche Mar 21, 2013 09:53 AM

      Well that didn't take long to see what the family was going to do after SL's death! Good for their pocketbooks, bad for the dining scene and broader New Orleans culture.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sanglier
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        rouxdauphine RE: sanglier Mar 21, 2013 06:07 PM

        Slightly inaccurate to attribute this to the "family." It is Steve's brother, Stanford, who is spitting on Steven's grave. Steven's son, Mark, is and wants to continue (in this location) running the restaurant.

        1. re: rouxdauphine
          h
          hazelhurst RE: rouxdauphine Mar 22, 2013 08:19 AM

          Someone with more computer saavy than me (read "anyone") can put up links but I understand there is a great deal of Social Network palaver on this..Facebook et alia. "Vote With Your Fork" is the rallying cry. I am sympathetic--I practically cry daily passing the graves of restaurants, clothing stores, department stores--but I wonder if the the $5 million in hand is not worth more to Stanford Latter than the rent or a cut of the take. Steven always like to hold court down there but I don't think his brother ever cottoned to that role. If they DO save it I would love to see some upgrading. There are lots of providers and cooks out there who'd love to have a whack at it.

          1. re: hazelhurst
            h
            Hungry Celeste RE: hazelhurst Mar 22, 2013 08:27 AM

            You think he'd realize the value of the building plus the restaurants name/reputation/brand would be worth more as a package than simply selling the building. Maybe a deep pocketed investor would perform a rescue, a la Emerils Delmonico. Or is the whole thing a publicity ploy to get someone/group interested in doing just that? Hell, if John Georges will buy a newspaper at an inflated price, maybe he wants another antique restaurant.

      2. uptownlibrarian RE: BayouTeche Mar 21, 2013 10:08 AM

        Can you provide a link or anything? I'm not doubting you, I just haven't seen this reported as fact anyplace yet.

        2 Replies
        1. re: uptownlibrarian
          BayouTeche RE: uptownlibrarian Mar 21, 2013 11:18 AM

          https://www.facebook.com/poppy.tooker...

          1. re: BayouTeche
            Bill Hunt RE: BayouTeche Mar 21, 2013 06:34 PM

            But doesn't the FQ need another t-shirt shop?

            Thank goodness that I have the memories and even a ceramic likeness of Tujague's. I will not be buying the t-shirt though.

            Hunt

        2. k
          kibbles RE: BayouTeche Mar 22, 2013 02:11 PM

          it's true Mike Motwani and his son Lenny run many of the t-shirt shops, but god i hope this is a vicious rumor...that restaurant just has too much history and icon power to decompose into another junk shop full of chinese-made crap for fat tourists.

          please just be a rumor...

          3 Replies
          1. re: kibbles
            s
            sanglier RE: kibbles Mar 22, 2013 04:23 PM

            How true. This isn't just any restaurant that shutters and is replaced with another restaurant or becomes another business. This is on par with Antoine's closing, Brunings being decimated and not replaced. And like you, I sure hope this isn't a quick buck for the heir(s) with no thought to the landscape ramifications.

            1. re: sanglier
              r
              rouxdauphine RE: sanglier Mar 22, 2013 05:21 PM

              No, not the heirs. It is Steve's BROTHER, not his SON, who owns the building. Mark has been committed to continuing the family business. I can only hope he has the chance to do so.

              1. re: rouxdauphine
                s
                sanglier RE: rouxdauphine Mar 22, 2013 06:45 PM

                Thanks for the correction. But that is worse! His brother should know better, I'd expect that from someone much younger.

          2. c
            collardman RE: BayouTeche Mar 23, 2013 03:14 PM

            I drove by Friday at about 2:30 PM and people were in the doorway. It looked like a full house while usually at that time in the afternoon there is no crowd.

            1. j
              joedontexan RE: BayouTeche Mar 25, 2013 06:11 PM

              This would be a devastating blow I cant imagine walking by there and Tujagues not being there with the old stand up bar and the 250 year old mirror from france behind the bar. This is unacceptable.

              20 Replies
              1. re: joedontexan
                Bill Hunt RE: joedontexan Mar 25, 2013 07:00 PM

                I have expressed similar sentiments, regarding some other historic NOLA restaurants, but many feel that they need to go away, as they have not "grown," and altered their menus and styles in far too long, to appeal to the younger demographic. To me, it is very sad. We have recounted almost every visit to Tujaques, so we DO have our memories. Maybe that is "as good as it gets?"

                Hey, a few more t-shirt shops, a few new restaurants, that encourage t-shirts and flip-flops, and serve cryo-bubble-tea-infused something, or another?

                Just glad that I grew up where I did, and when I did. While maybe not the true "Glory Days," they were not bad.

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  j
                  joedontexan RE: Bill Hunt Mar 25, 2013 08:34 PM

                  Yes Mr. Hunt very sad indeed and tragic. Tujagues started in 1856 an extremely historic restaurant right up there with Antoines almost. If this continues the french quarter with a bunch of planet hollywood type chains would be very dull and boring. Once these places are gone you cant just bring them back anytime you want, I second your sentiments on the crappy casual attire.

                  1. re: joedontexan
                    Bill Hunt RE: joedontexan Mar 25, 2013 09:04 PM

                    I greatly understand the "Planet Hollywood" reference. By my observations, on several continents, it seems that that is what the "dining public" really wants. Maybe another Morton's of Chicago would be in order?

                    On many boards, I am called an "old fool," and accused of hanging onto history, when the newer generations want something loud, casual, and exactly like what they encounter in two dozen cities around the globe.

                    I own up to the first parts, but wonder why one would want exactly what they know from Detroit, or Minneapolis, even if they are in New Orleans, or London, or Paris. I mean, why would one go to New Orleans, or Paris, to dine at a Morton's Steakhouse? It just eludes me completely. Still, they do, and pay mightily for the privilege to eat the same food, wherever they are.

                    Guess that a dinosaur, such as myself, just needs to get over it. Any restaurant with more than a month of history, is just not worthy, nowadays.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt
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                      Gizmo56 RE: Bill Hunt Mar 26, 2013 09:41 AM

                      Despite the hand-wringing, it is worth noting that there is nothing in the original post that indicates that the demise of Tujaque's relates to changing tastes of diners in New Orleans. Nor do I see New Orleans filling up with national chains such as Morton's or Planet Hollywood.

                      My experience with reading the threads on this board, as well as my direct experience in the city, is that New Orleans still has a steady pilgrimage of visitors that seek out authentic regional cuisine and music, as well as a community of locals that treasure and support their stellar cultural legacy.

                      If Tujaque's becomes a t-shirt shop, I think that will be a very sad development, and a lost opportunity for the new owners of the building (because a revitalized and better marketed Tujaque's would likely be a potentially more profitable operation). But this sad development does not signal that New Orleans is becoming taken over by soul-less national chains. That simply isn't happening.

                      1. re: Gizmo56
                        Bill Hunt RE: Gizmo56 Mar 26, 2013 07:01 PM

                        Actually, I think that it was JoeDonTexan, who made that reference. At least the first. I just picked up on that.

                        Hunt

                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                          g
                          Gizmo56 RE: Bill Hunt Mar 26, 2013 11:53 PM

                          "I mean, why would one go to New Orleans, or Paris, to dine at a Morton's Steakhouse? It just eludes me completely. Still, they do, and pay mightily for the privilege to eat the same food, wherever they are."

                          "Still, they do," My point (again) is that ~in New Orleans,~ they definitely do not. The threads on this board are full of prospective visitors asking how early they should line up at Galatoire's, and where they can have the most authentic Louisiana dining experiences.

                          Bill, if you can give me a link to any Chow thread where a traveler is asking for a homogenized corporate chain experience in the city of New Orleans, it would come as a great surprise. I don't see the chains gaining any toehold in NOLA, all I see is America's most vibrant food culture growing stronger every day.

                          1. re: Gizmo56
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                            rouxdauphine RE: Gizmo56 Mar 27, 2013 05:49 AM

                            Gizmo, this reminds me of what happened one evening my first year as a tour guide. A fellow actually asked me if I could recommend to him a good chain restaurant. I replied, "Sir, you are in New Orleans. I cannot in good conscience do that."

                            1. re: rouxdauphine
                              g
                              Gizmo56 RE: rouxdauphine Mar 27, 2013 02:55 PM

                              :)

                              1. re: rouxdauphine
                                Bill Hunt RE: rouxdauphine Mar 27, 2013 08:29 PM

                                Great reply!

                                That would be like someone asking for a "chain restaurant" in San Francisco. Why?

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  r
                                  rouxdauphine RE: Bill Hunt Mar 28, 2013 05:35 PM

                                  Thank you, Hunt, it was a rare time I was rendered nearly speechless, but the retort could not be squelched!

                              2. re: Gizmo56
                                Bill Hunt RE: Gizmo56 Mar 27, 2013 08:28 PM

                                Oh, I agree completely. Same could be said for Honolulu. Still, it happens very often. While you and I would never do it, many feel compelled to do it. They want the "same old, same old," that they know from Chicago, NYC, or ____ . That is not what we seek out. As the matter of fact, we eschew such restaurants, and with a passion.

                                First, when we travel, we never are looking for the fare, that we have back home. We are not looking for fare, from where we once lived, such as New Orleans. We want something different, and a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, or a Morton's, is not what we want.

                                In London, we are looking for something different. Same for Paris, and for Rome. San Francisco is the same, and even Chicago is not going to yield a Morton's, at least not for us (Everest and Tru were our most recent Chicago restaurants).

                                When we are in Honolulu, a "steakhouse" is always way, way down our list. Even in Las Vegas, a "steakhouse" is also down that list.

                                First, I want something somewhat local, and chef-driven. If that is not possible, then I branch out a bit, but never to a national chain, like Morton's

                                As for the threads, where OP's have asked for recs. on Jimmy Buffet's, Hard Rock, House of Blues, Morton's, etc., I will leave the research to you, as I just do not have the time. You should find them in no time.

                                Good luck,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  k
                                  kibbles RE: Bill Hunt Mar 28, 2013 10:34 AM

                                  Bill, so have you personally met people who ask for good national chain recommendations? in new orleans? i for the life of me cant think of anyone ever asking me such a rec...i dont recall reading any of this forum, either...?

                                  1. re: kibbles
                                    Bill Hunt RE: kibbles Mar 31, 2013 07:05 PM

                                    Actually on this board.

                                    Many are looking for something that is "familiar" to them, even in New Orleans. Reviews of Morton's Steakhouse, in New Orleans, Jimmy Buffet's Hamburger in Paradise, the Hard Rock Cafe, etc., are fairly often requested.

                                    Similar happens on the Hawai`i Board.

                                    I see similar on the San Francisco, and the UK Boards. Like New Orleans, those are two boards, where there are so many great suggestions - but seldom, if ever, chains, and especially US chains (UK Board).

                                    I have read several requests for updates on the Hard Rock Cafe in Mayfair, and US chains in London. Similar to what some request on the NOLA Board.

                                    Jimmy Buffett Cheeseburger in Paradis, House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, Morton's, et al, are probably very, very similar to what they have in Chicago, Des Moines, etc. When in NOLA, why would one want to eat at a chain, or mini-chain, that they have back home?

                                    Hunt

                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                      k
                                      kibbles RE: Bill Hunt Apr 12, 2013 02:12 PM

                                      well, i guess i just havent seen those posts in this forum. cant for the life of me ever recall anyone asking for those places...

                            2. re: Gizmo56
                              k
                              kibbles RE: Gizmo56 Mar 27, 2013 02:45 PM

                              agreed, gizmo -- nobody i know, from guests to random visitors at the bar, wants to eat at chains in new orleans. they always ask us the same thing -- where to get authentic food. they want something other than their normal midwestern experience. that is, after all, why theyre here.

                              does Morton's exist? yep. who goes there? locals -- business men, athletes, and even just plain people like us once in a while. does Hard Rock exist? yep, but it's spring breaker party people and the generally uninspired that drop in for sustenance. not the majority of visitors.

                              i also disagree that many people want the old guard restaurants to close shop for not having "grown". instead, i think some people are noticing when an old guard place like Antoine's* serves lackluster food masked only by great service. do i want them to close? no. instead i want them to stop coasting and serve food theyre passionate about -- whatever that may be! thats what great chefs are, passionate. they dont slouch.

                              *i pick on Antoine's because every time i go there for a fancy sit-down meal i get pretty average-to-less-than food. i have no problem w/ the menu -- i welcome the change from modern cuisine. but i just want it to be *good*. prepared well, executed well...sadly havent been getting that on our visits.

                              1. re: kibbles
                                g
                                Gizmo56 RE: kibbles Mar 27, 2013 02:54 PM

                                Well said.

                                1. re: kibbles
                                  Bill Hunt RE: kibbles Mar 27, 2013 08:34 PM

                                  Antoine's might need to "kick it up a notch," though with my memories, they do get a bit of "slack." I always wish the best for them, as much of my earlier life focused on them, plus Galatorie's. They are sort of "shrines," but they still need to produce. Just pre-K, Antoine's did not, but I have read that they have gotten "it" back. I can only hope so.

                                  Hunt

                            3. re: joedontexan
                              g
                              Gizmo56 RE: joedontexan May 30, 2013 06:27 AM

                              joedontexan, I will gladly join you in celebrating the fact that another historic NOLA restaurant has NOT bitten the dust.

                              1. re: Gizmo56
                                j
                                joedontexan RE: Gizmo56 Jun 4, 2013 02:35 PM

                                well alright gizmo you got it!!!

                          2. re: joedontexan
                            c
                            collardman RE: joedontexan Mar 27, 2013 12:24 PM

                            Anne Tuennerman of Tales of the Cocktail has written a very good letter to Latter asking him to think of the consequences of the demise of Tujagues, of the indirect financial costs of N.O. slipping toward homogenity.

                          3. i
                            INDIANRIVERFL RE: BayouTeche Mar 26, 2013 09:40 AM

                            My first high end NOLA experience. Or not.

                            Mardi Gras Sunday, 1975. 5 hungry broke shorthaired ROTC cadets greet the dawn. See somebody cleaning up and pound on the door. We get beer and po boys from a very understanding guy. Locked the doors behind us.

                            Went back when I had money in later years, but I will aways treasure those sandwiches made from leftovers.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                              Bill Hunt RE: INDIANRIVERFL Mar 26, 2013 06:59 PM

                              Yeah, sometimes great memories are the best that we can do, and maybe here, will be all that we are left with.

                              While I did not propose at Tujague's, I did make one of my first "propositions" to my future wife there. She casually demurred, and offered something along the lines of, "maybe some time in the future... "

                              Even after we'd been married for some years, that scenario was repeated, "maybe some time in the future... "

                              Lot of great memories.

                              Hunt

                            2. BayouTeche RE: BayouTeche Mar 27, 2013 07:16 AM

                              John Besh has entered the conversation....

                              http://www.nola.com/dining/index.ssf/...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BayouTeche
                                h
                                hazelhurst RE: BayouTeche Mar 27, 2013 08:04 AM

                                This could get interesting. one hopes that if Mr Besh gets involved his Empire can handle the extended supply line. I have a suspicion (completely unsupported by anything apart from public prints) that Brennan's problems may stem from mortgaging for expansion. Tujague's does have a couple of problems in marketing to The Mob, I think. Parking is horrible--it is easier to park near Antoine's than it is at Tujague's. And is has what real eestate friend called the psycological barrier of Jackson Square. She said few people wanted to go beyond CDM etc. Maybe that is true(Although I recall trendy sojourns in other cities to "less fashionable" areas just to get someone's famous soup or whathaveyou And Warren LeRuth made it OK to cross the river.

                              2. Jay F RE: BayouTeche Mar 27, 2013 07:24 AM

                                How do you pronounce "Tujague's"?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Jay F
                                  BayouTeche RE: Jay F Mar 27, 2013 08:00 AM

                                  TOO-jacks

                                  1. re: BayouTeche
                                    Jay F RE: BayouTeche Mar 27, 2013 08:43 AM

                                    Thanks, BT.

                                2. Monch RE: BayouTeche Mar 27, 2013 01:10 PM

                                  Not sure if it was the right forum, but I dropped a note on this subject to the Southern Foodways Alliance. I sent them a link to the John Besh/Tujague's article at NOLA.com.

                                  What could it hurt?

                                  I don't think I'll hear from Mr. Edge, but who knows?

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Monch
                                    h
                                    hazelhurst RE: Monch Mar 27, 2013 02:21 PM

                                    If you hear anything please let us know.

                                    It will take lots of number crunching to figure out what kind of business you'd have to do to afford $5million (assuming you have to keep up with the T-shirt threat). We couldn't save Maylie's (but there was no internet then): and I suspect the rush to Tujague's presently reported will die down. It needs a solid local base on the backside of the Quarter and some decent tourist trade. If someone made it higher-end there could be trouble. then, too, lots of cuisine bourgeoise places have survived long enough to become Destinations (Chez Benoit springs to mind at once. Ducasse bought that one and opened copies but by then the earthy originality was said to have been worn away).

                                    1. re: hazelhurst
                                      BayouTeche RE: hazelhurst Mar 27, 2013 02:50 PM

                                      I may be wrong, but it didn't seem Tujague's was struggling business-wise. Other than the sale of the building, the restaurant was going to continue on...business as usual. Unlike, Maylie's or Kolb's, which suffered dwindling crowds.

                                      Also, Besh's spokeswoman says, "Wanting to buy it and buying it are two different things entirely." I'm thinking Besh doesn't intend to get into a bidding war with the likes of Motwami.

                                      1. re: BayouTeche
                                        h
                                        hazelhurst RE: BayouTeche Mar 28, 2013 06:15 AM

                                        Well, as I said, you'd need a lot of number crunching to figure this out. I take people to Tujague's when we've been down at the MArket and someone needs a break. I don't cross the Quarter to get to it unless I am visiting someone back there (or if I had to park back there for something farther upriver). It is not really on my radar and that is my problem. I daresay this is true of a lot of other people, (Uptown at least). But I've never seen the place packed except for rehearsal dinner and the like. I do catch it at Carnival a bit.

                                        Tujague's doesn't apply on all fours to this but in the 1980s I was told by a FOH guy that "your generation is the last one that will dress up and come downtown for dinner." He went on to say that younger kids rip off the tie and go toTGIFridays. He listed several regular patrons, all older than I was, who "go home, bathe, put on a clean shirt, tie and suit, and come back downtown, all by 6:00 PM." Regardless of the issue of dress, which we all know is of importance at this little waystation, it seems to be rarer for people to go downtown to eat on a regular basis. we used to go to Maylies a good bit in the evenings and especially when the handwriting was on the wall. But they suffered from no business at night (save for Dome events and I never saw it packed even then...kinda like the Home Plate Inn..people forgot it was there.) Kolb's suffered tremendously from the loss of the St Charles Hotel but it should have done OK at lunch. It never reached the acme of german cooking but it was never bad in my experience. But it was HUGE and the overhead was draining them A late friend was a partner in it and I got lots of info from him. Its a fickle business. In ten yeas we'll see articles about how Restaurant PErfecto was once hailed as the greatest fission/fusion/phooey restaurant in the world but now it has been deserted by its fans in favor of the igloo that exists three months a year near the artic circle. WHile it was once fun to ride a packet steamer two hours to the island, there to take the mule another hour to the top of the extinct volcano to have Perfecto's shrimp-and-conde-de-la-Cordobista, made from rare herbs found ONLY there and ONLY at that altitude(and the name was made up in a drunken party..winner to the most obviously BS of all), sadly Perfecto is now wheezing to its grave. The original chef, though, is OK in the Mediterranean having sold the joint. he can work the dodge again, claiming the decline was due to his not being there. the suckers moon and spawn..but this is off the point.

                                      2. re: hazelhurst
                                        g
                                        Gizmo56 RE: hazelhurst Mar 27, 2013 02:53 PM

                                        I think that you have hit the nail on the head (as usual) HH.

                                        It is hard to imagine either a restaurant or a t-shirt shop being able to cover a $5 million mortgage. The buyer of that building has to be seeing it as a long term investment.

                                        I am very happy to see John Besh trying to play the role of white knight. I think the best hope would be for him to put together a small consortium of partners who could buy the property and revitalize the restaurant's reputation. My fingers are crossed for a good outcome.

                                        1. re: Gizmo56
                                          Bill Hunt RE: Gizmo56 Mar 27, 2013 08:12 PM

                                          My fingers are X'ed too.

                                          We are trying to put together a "Grand Dames" trip, in 2013, and, at the least, hope to say "farewell" to some restaurants.

                                          Hope that we can do that, in time.

                                          Hunt

                                        2. re: hazelhurst
                                          Monch RE: hazelhurst Mar 27, 2013 06:15 PM

                                          HH,

                                          Mr. Edge did reply. The reply was concise and indicated two things:
                                          - That the SFA was aware of the situation and had been following the situation.
                                          - That the SFA was hoping that Chef Besh's efforts "come to the fore"

                                          As I say....concise.

                                          1. re: Monch
                                            Bill Hunt RE: Monch Mar 27, 2013 08:10 PM

                                            Thank you for the update. I replied, before I read the entire thread this evening.

                                            Appreciated,

                                            Hunt

                                        3. re: Monch
                                          Bill Hunt RE: Monch Mar 27, 2013 08:08 PM

                                          Who knows? Mr. Edge is a "straight up dude," at least in my experiences. He does seem to both understand, and care.

                                          Good luck,

                                          Hunt

                                        4. j
                                          joedontexan RE: BayouTeche Mar 31, 2013 10:31 AM

                                          my thread on the coming closings of old time new orleans restaurants is coming true. But I have to admit Tujagues shocked me I didnt see that coming. Mandinas, domilises, jacques imos, dick and jennys places like this will make it in the future because they are sleazy chic as tom fitzmorris puts it. This is what people want the grittier the better in New Orleans and they want to do it in t shirts and flip flops. A very close friend in Austin I told of this and she confirmed that yes she wants to dine in only t shirts and flip flops. Most do not want to dress up to dine at the old school creole places outside of galatoires and thats fact. Yes people when they come to New Orleans want new orleans food no doubt but they want it mostly in the sleazy chic places. And it has nothing to do with wealth. I think Hazlehurst said at commanders palace the movie people all were dressed like they fell out of a garbage can. This is the future look for more to fall.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: joedontexan
                                            m
                                            montuori RE: joedontexan Mar 31, 2013 04:28 PM

                                            And your credentials are what, exactly?

                                            Tujague's has been coasting for years now (don't believe me? Walk down and eat their overcooked brisket and face the hostile waitstaff who treat everyone like a tourist). One of the things that makes a neighborhood joint work is that they treat everyone like a local; and if it turns out he's not, they offer recommendations for tomorrow's meal. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not looking to see the place close; however, if it's a kick in the ass to rethink their losing game plan (seriously? a set six course menu in 2013?), all the better.

                                            There are more independently owned restaurants here, per capita, than any other place I can name. Many are doing just fine thank you very much. The handwringing that people like you and Bill H. engage in is positively without foundation. Just because the management of the so-called grande dames can't keep pace is no reason to spew the nonsense you do about flip-flops and t-shirts. I suspect most of their issues stem from not knowing how to actually step up their food game in the face of astute competition.

                                            1. re: montuori
                                              j
                                              joedontexan RE: montuori Mar 31, 2013 04:47 PM

                                              Its america big M I will speak my mind freely. so go fly a kite.

                                              1. re: joedontexan
                                                m
                                                montuori RE: joedontexan Mar 31, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                So no cred. Gotcha. Thanks for playing, Joe the Texan.

                                                1. re: montuori
                                                  j
                                                  joedontexan RE: montuori Mar 31, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                  laughable thanks for breaking up a boring day big M have a nice day lol

                                              2. re: montuori
                                                h
                                                Hungry Celeste RE: montuori Apr 1, 2013 07:04 AM

                                                I hear ya, Montuori. I hate the thought of a long-lived place falling by the wayside. But I want to live in a vibrant, evolving city, not a wax museum. I regret the potential loss of Tujague's bar far more than the potential loss of its kitchen.

                                              3. re: joedontexan
                                                Bill Hunt RE: joedontexan Mar 31, 2013 06:57 PM

                                                I see, hear and read similar, and it does not only happen on the CH New Orleans board.

                                                Cities like London, Paris, San Francisco, Honolulu, NYC, Chicago, and many more, have requests for "fine-dining" restaurants, where one can get by with very, very casual clothing. Most are usually prefaced by "my husband refuses to wear a jacket, and we will be hiking all day, so want something great, elegant, but that we can get into with shorts, a t-shirt and dirty hiking boots. Where do we go?"

                                                Now, "fine-dining" does not always directly equate to "great local fare," but it often can.

                                                Now, I am very "old-school," but that is one thing that advanced age can bring. I am also more formal, in my attire and my dining, than many others. That is possibly because I grew up in a "different time, and a different place."

                                                Still, it appears that a great many potential diners (majority?), want great food (most often with local aspects), but want to dine in cut-offs, t-shirts and flip-flops. Maybe that was what they grew up with at home, or that they have just adopted a very casual attitude, when dining out.

                                                In some restaurants, that can work fine, though a few other diners might puzzle over the choice of attire.

                                                When it comes to dining in NOLA, I have a very skewed view, as we so often spend our evening meals doing what I typify as "fine dining," and to me, that means at least a jacket/blazer.

                                                I am a "student" of NOLA culinary tradition, and greatly appreciate that. I dress as I am comfortable, and have never been under-dressed (other than the lack of a tie at Antoine's, when I was about 12).

                                                I also appreciate some of that culinary history, and that can be an "albatross" around my neck. I try to be 100% objective, when dining in NOLA, BUT there ARE some memories, in many restaurants.

                                                While I try to clear most of those (both good and bad), when doing a review, one can never purge all memories. How would one describe a wine, if they had no taste memories, or a dish in a restaurant? "Well, it tasted like something, but I cannot remember what."

                                                Still, when it comes to me, and many historic NOLA restaurants, it is tough to detach those memories.

                                                Others, especially first-time visitors, have no such memories, and mine, from maybe a different time, have no baring. They want the here and now, in their inquires. Many (most?) do not care about any history, or what might have gone before. Again, they want the here and now. There is nothing wrong with that. When dining in other cities, I am usually more concerned with the food that I might order, than how old the Taddish Grill is, in San Francisco.

                                                Still, there is a tear in my eye, as a NOLA restaurant, from my youth, closes its doors.

                                                Now, many NOLA restaurants should start asking themselves the question, "Are we still relevant?" That does not factor in my, or others' memories, but addresses their business model today.

                                                New Orleans is unique (though some cities have a few similarities), in that it DOES have a "cuisine." There are also examples of that cuisine from local, neighborhood restaurants, up to the Grand Dames. When we lived in the City, we dined across that spectrum, though often dictated by geographic location, as much as cuisine. For good to great NOLA cuisine, one can get recs. across the price board, and also across the "dress-code" board.

                                                I have not heard the term "Sleazy Chic," but then have not followed Tom Fitzmorris in decades. I do, however, see the application of that term.

                                                At least in NOLA, there are many, many choices, that can fit many different tastes and desires.

                                                Hunt

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                  k
                                                  kibbles RE: Bill Hunt Apr 12, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                  "Many (most?) do not care about any history, or what might have gone before. Again, they want the here and now."

                                                  this is just something doesnt jive with my own experiences. most of my guests, and strangers i advise, are very much interested in what came before -- they want historical, they want legend and story. they want the mystery and romance, and i believe thats why they come here, to one of the oldest cities with the richest histories.

                                                  can you explain why Napoleon House is so popular, otherwise? or even Lafitte's Blacksmithe Shoppe, despite being turned into a douchey frat bar? it's the history of the space. it has something that cannot be explained....and so, they come.

                                                  1. re: kibbles
                                                    Bill Hunt RE: kibbles Apr 13, 2013 08:45 PM

                                                    I have not dined at Napoleon House, or Lafitte's in over 30 years, so cannot imagine why they are do popular.

                                                    Sorry,

                                                    Hunt

                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                      g
                                                      Gizmo56 RE: Bill Hunt Apr 13, 2013 11:57 PM

                                                      I have searched the NO threads for "Morton's" and "Planet Hollywoood" and "like I can find at home" and I get no posts other than Bill Hunt's claims that claim that such queries exist.

                                                      On the other hand, we've seen two or three threads from visitors just in the last few weeks asking about when to line up at Galatoire's and how best to enjoy that experience.

                                                      People come to New Orleans in order to experience New Orleans traditions. The possible demise of Tujague's, like the possible demise of Charlie's Seafood, is not due to a lack of appreciation of local culinary traditions, it is instead due to owners of New Orleans real estate deciding to put their property to a different use.

                                                2. re: joedontexan
                                                  c
                                                  collardman RE: joedontexan Apr 1, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                  Mandina's is not fine dining, but "sleazy chic"??? And the full parking lot doesn't hold many rental cars. It's still quite popular with locals and I don't see it turning in to the Canal Street version of a T-shirt shop, a law office.

                                                3. N.O.Food RE: BayouTeche Apr 2, 2013 08:24 PM

                                                  Mike Motwani is a pox on this city. Believe that.

                                                  1. f
                                                    Fydeaux RE: BayouTeche Apr 11, 2013 07:10 AM

                                                    Can anyone update the status on this?

                                                    1. Monch RE: BayouTeche May 29, 2013 01:48 PM

                                                      Looks like we will all have to buy our t-shirts elsewhere.

                                                      http://www.nola.com/dining/index.ssf/...

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: Monch
                                                        f
                                                        Fydeaux RE: Monch May 30, 2013 06:13 AM

                                                        Thank you for posting this! I didnt manage to make it there on my last visit, and I was dispairing the thought that they might not be there when I next return.

                                                        1. re: Monch
                                                          kukubura RE: Monch May 31, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                          The outcry for the poor t-shirt hawkers?? You're all hypocrites!

                                                          We'll make sure to have a drink there next time. It was the unofficial sazerac winner of many last time. Hopefully that ornery ol bartender will still be there. Paul was his name?

                                                          1. re: kukubura
                                                            Monch RE: kukubura May 31, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                            Is this the gent, Kuku?

                                                            http://southernfoodways.org/documenta...

                                                            1. re: Monch
                                                              kukubura RE: Monch Jun 2, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                              Could be. The photo in the video is old but when I heard him say that people who make fancy martinis with a bunch of ingredients are "a bunch of morons" I got the feeling it's him. I have a shot of him at the end of this post:
                                                              http://tastytrix.blogspot.com/2012/01...

                                                            2. re: kukubura
                                                              m
                                                              montuori RE: kukubura Jun 2, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                              Gustings. Last I knew he's at Serendipity. Makes a hell of a Sazerac.

                                                            3. re: Monch
                                                              g
                                                              Gizmo56 RE: Monch May 31, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                              Another happy hiccup in the predicted doom and gloom joedontexan-appocolypse of landmark New Orleans restaurant names.

                                                              Their plan to re-energize but preserve the traditional menu sounds promising.

                                                              1. re: Gizmo56
                                                                Monch RE: Gizmo56 May 31, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                I will patronize them, during my August visit.

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