One of New Orleans's beloved restaurants, Red Gravy, will be moving from the CBD to Uptown at the end of this month. The decision to move was "out of necessity," said restaurant owner Roseanne Rostoker, who had considered moving prior, but was motivated to finally do so by the effects of the coronavirus.
"There's absolutely no business in the CBD right now," said
Rostoker. "Some days, you did well and figured that you could ride this out,
and then other days, you had one takeout order and wondered if you'd make it
till the end of the week," said Rostoker.
New Orleans's restaurants were hit hard by COVID-19, and many have been forced to make tough decisions in order to combat the lack of tourism. "The level of stress was off the charts," said Rostoker.
Once located at 125 Camp St., Red Gravy is planned to move to 4206 Magazine St. "There will be a lot of the favorites staying," said Rostoker, regarding any new changes to the menu, but fans of the restaurant will be happy to know that "there will be an entire new dinner menu as well."
Red Gravy will continue to serve brunch on the weekends, including some of their most unique options, such as breakfast spaghetti. But they will now also be operating both dinner service and Happy Hour during the week.
And Red Gravy isn't the only one making this decision. The Store, another CBD favorite, has plans to move to Metairie. In a report by NOLA.com, the Store's owner, Reuben Laws, said, "It's quiet Downtown, and I don't know how long it'll be quiet for, which is the main concern."
The Store has been closed since the onset of COVID-19, and
its current location at 814 Gravier St. will not reopen. Instead, the
restaurant will be moving to 901 Veterans Blvd. and will now serve lunch and
dinner in place of its usual breakfast and lunch.
Another New Orleans restaurant, the historic landmark Tujague's, is set to move as well, according to NOLA.com. The second-oldest restaurant in the city, Tujague's has become integral to the city's cultural heritage. The move is not in response to the coronavirus; rather, it is due to owner Mark Latter's efforts to maintain the restaurant's financial stability following the expiration of their current lease.
Tujague's will move down the road to 429 Decatur St. from its longstanding home at 823 Decatur St. "The most important thing to me is that when people who know Tujague's walk in, they still feel like they're at Tujague's, even if the address is different," said Latter, concerning the renovations and move to what was previously the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
Food has always been a staple of New Orleans culture, and the restaurant industry is currently adapting to its rapidly changing environment. Residents can expect that the fallout will push owners and operators to transform in creative ways, in order to maintain the city's cuisine legacy.