Robert LeBlanc of the local restaurant operator LeBlanc + Smith, which closed its Magazine Street restaurant Cavan in September, was one of the speakers at a press conference Thursday (Nov. 4) held by the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
The association is urging Louisianians to call on local members of Congress — especially Sen. John Kennedy, who sits on the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee — to refill the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, or RRF, part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“Restaurants are on the brink of extinction,” said Erika Polmar of the IRC, opening the press conference.
LeBlanc said his locations have been struggling during the pandemic. “Three of my five places have closed, with 25 jobs lost,” LeBlanc said. “As an example, one of my restaurants had a 40-seat capacity indoors and with the restrictions of table distances and limited capacity, I could serve eight customers. This is not viable.”
Cavan has become an event venue.