Cavan Restaurant closes after five years on Magazine Street

Acclaimed Uptown restaurant Cavan announced its closure Thursday after five years on Magazine Street. The decision came after 18 months of struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic. Robert LeBlanc⁠ of local restaurant operator LeBlanc+Smith announced the closure on social media. “In the wake of Hurricane Ida and after a prolonged period of instability in our industry, we have made the decision to close Cavan Restaurant and Bar,” he said in a statement posted on Instagram. He noted the historic building at 3607 Magazine St.

Hangout Ramen on Carrollton and Willow offers Asian comfort food

Hangout Ramen, a ramen spot and sushi bar, made its debut Aug. 22 on South Carrollton Avenue and Willow Street. The restaurant is in the building that was home to Little Tokyo Small Plates and Noodle Bar and, most recently, Masterp1ece Japanese Cuisine, which closed earlier this summer. Owner Iwan Santoso, who is from Indonesia, brings some of his own culture to the menu that also includes Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese flavors. True to its name, the ramen menu is extensive and promises to bring the Japanese favorite to an area that has been lacking.

Gonzalez brothers offer authentic Mexican flavors at Mr. Tequila

Mr. Tequila on Freret Street is a Mexican restaurant that has tasty food and cocktails to satisfy your craving.s Brothers Johnny, Leonel, and Raul Gonzalez hope to add a bit of Mexican flavor to a street that already has plenty of dining options. Originally from Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, Johnny Gonzalez began working in the restaurant industry in Mississippi when he was 16. Eleven years ago, he and his brothers, Leonel and Raul, moved to New Orleans and began working at Carreta’s Grill in Metairie. “We spent eight years working at Carreta’s Grill,” Johnny Gonzalez said. “We gained experience, learned about the restaurant industry, and learned about tequila.” 

After their time at Carreta’s Grill, the brothers decided to open their own restaurant.

At former DTB location on Oak, Jazzy Pete’s is out and Mucho Más is on its way in

The building at 8201 Oak St — previously home to restaurant DTB and, most recently, Jazzy Pete’s — will soon be Mexican restaurant Mucho Más, from chef Julio Machado. Chef Machado, who owns Tacos Del Cartel on David Drive in Metairie,  promises an expansion of the menu that Tacos Del Cartel fans have grown to love. He will be running the restaurant with Danny Cruz and Daniel Borst. “I want to show more of Mexico,” Machado said in a press release. “People have asked for this, and we want to give it to them — more dishes from Mexico, more options.”

The menu at Mucho Más will include Carne Asada, Tasajo, Snapper a la Talla inspired by Chef Gabriela Camara, shrimp cocktail, and a classic Tuna Tostada.

Lengua Madre to offer a personal, contemporary take on Mexican cuisine at Thalia and Constance

Big changes are coming to the corner of Thalia and Constance Streets where Lengua Madre, a restaurant that offers a contemporary, personal approach to Mexican cuisine, will open at 1245 Constance St. on Wednesday (Aug. 4). It will be the first solo endeavor of chef Ana Castro, who previously worked as sous chef at Coquette on Magazine Street and as co-sous chef at Thalia, which operated in the same location as Lengua Madre. Castro was also the head of the kitchen at the brief pop-up Here Today in the spring. 

Castro was born in South Texas and raised in Mexico City by her paternal grandmother.

Hotel Saint Vincent ‘a place to slow down’ in the Lower Garden District

The stage was set on a balmy summer night when musician, vocalist and indie favorite St. Vincent captivated the audience in a courtyard that once saw saints of another sort. It was the opening night party for Hotel Saint Vincent in June, and it seemed like the A list was out in full force for one of the more posh hotel opening celebrations the city had seen in a long time. 

The party was also a revelation: It showcased the long and winding road of the building complex constructed as an orphanage just after the Civil War into its current incarnation as a 75-room hotel developed during another seismic cultural and economic shift, the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hotel Saint Vincent is a project of MML Hospitality, helmed by Larry McGuire, Tom Moorman and Liz Lambert, whose expertise in developing hotels and restaurants — transforming, might be a better word — is seen in Austin, Texas, where the company is based.  

The group worked with local developers Jayson Seidman and Zach Kupperman, who are part owners and developers. They are co-founders and developers of The Drifter in Mid-City, and Seidman is a co-owner and developer of the Columns, a late 19th-century Thomas Sully designed house turned hotel and bar that just went through its own re-do in 2020 and early 2021.

Tipitina’s to open coffee shop and bar with live music next door on Tchoupitoulas

Legendary local music venue Tipitina’s plans to expand by opening up a coffee shop next door that will also serve as a bar and live entertainment venue at night. 

The City Planning Commission approved the plans in a unanimous vote on Tuesday (July 27), with the provision that all music must be indoors with windows and doors closed. The coffee shop will be on 4331 Tchoupitoulas St., in a building previously used as a commercial short-term rental space known as Tchoup House. The venue has a rear patio and upstairs deck. 

In comparison to the bopping music club next door, the new entertainment venue will be low-key, focusing more on piano and acoustic performances. 

“The live music that we are envisioning would be akin to a piano bar: small scale, a piano man, or perhaps a jazz or funk trio,” according to a project description the club submitted. “An intimate vibe, nowhere on the level of size or production that the artists who play inside Tipitina’s require.” This expansion represents a hopeful new chapter for Tipitina’s, which like all music venues has struggled mightily to survive the pandemic.

‘A Century on Harmony Street’ to honor the Kohlmaier cabinet makers in the Irish Channel

Furniture maker Ruppert Kohlmaier Jr. was just 6 years old when he started working in his father’s shop on Harmony Street in the Irish Channel. Almost 80 years later, he still works there every single day. His long career has been blessed, he said, by having a legion of New Orleanians as clients, whom he considers to be his extended family. Select pieces from his clients’ collections will be on view at the Louisiana State Museum’s Cabildo beginning Nov. 4 in the exhibition “A Century on Harmony Street: The Kohlmaier Cabinet Makers of New Orleans.” Curated by gallery owner Cybèle Gontar, the retrospective honors both father and son Kohlmaier and will be accompanied by a catalog.

Empanola is bringing its innovative empanadas to Magazine Street


Empanola, the spot that serves up traditional and New Orleans-inspired empanadas, is opening a new location at 3109 Magazine St. on Aug. 1. The site is the former location of novelty and gift shop Bootsy’s Fun Rock’n, which closed last summer. The Empanola location at 7321 Freret St., a neighborhood favorite since 2019, will remain Empanola’s main store, where all of the empanadas are baked.

Eclectic and ‘unapologetically inauthentic’ Mister Mao set to open in the former Dick & Jenny’s

Mister Mao, a “tropical roadhouse” from chef Sophina Uong and husband/partner William “Wildcat” Greenwell, is set to open in the former Dick & Jenny’s spot on July 24. Mister Mao promises an interactive chef’s counter, “unapologetically inauthentic” food and creative cocktails in the barge-board cottage on Tchoupitalous Street. “Wildcat and I are so excited to welcome our guests and let them experience first-hand everything I love about cooking – the ability to celebrate being together, experimenting with flavors and ingredients from around the world, and finally getting to savor it all,” Uong said. Mister Mao will serve as Uong’s canvas, she said, a place where the Cambodian American chef will meld her expertise in collaborative cooking tradition from across the globe with her creative dissection of the Southern plate. After fleeing with her family as a toddler from war-torn Cambodia and finding refuge in Long Beach, California, the self-taught chef grew up surrounded by families and friends of all backgrounds.