Four years after Hurricane Katrina devastated this
historic city, its chefs and restaurant owners have shaken off the
sucker punch and are swinging back stronger than ever.
fact, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau said
more restaurants are open now than before the fatal storm.
observations are that despite our drop in population from pre-Katrina
numbers, the city reports 1,031 restaurants open today,” said Mary Beth
Romig, director of communications and public relations for the CVB.
“This is more than ever in our city’s history, not just since August
2005.” Romig cites the educated count of restaurants by Tom Fitzmorris
of the nomenu.co
Hurricane Katrina plowed ashore east of New Orleans on
Aug. 29, 2005, killing 1,836 people along the Gulf Coast through the
storm surge itself and ensuing weeks of flooding after levees
protecting New Orleans were breached. Damages were in excess of $100
billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
like boxers shaking off standing eight counts, existing restaurateurs
are expanding with additional eateries, and newcomers are entering the
Donald Link, chef-owner of Herbsaint, has opened the highly touted Cochon and attached Butcher.
John Besh, chef-owner of Restaurant August, has opened several
restaurants, including Luke in the business district, and plans in the
first full week of September to open Domenica with chef-partner Alon
Shaya in the 504-room Hotel Roosevelt. The hotel underwent a $145
million renovation and was re-opened in July by the Hilton Hotel
Corp.’s upscale Waldorf-Astoria portfolio.
Marna Brigtsen bought and reopened the neighborhood staple Charlie’s
Seafood Co. in suburban Harahan, La. Also, chef Scott Boswell, whose Stella!
just received the top-rated fifth bean from the New Orleans
Times-Picayune restaurant reviewer, has enjoyed steady business at his
breakfast-and-sandwich restaurant, Stanley, located in the French
Quarter’s historic Jackson Square.