NEW ORLEANS (press release) – When Virgin Hotels New Orleans opened its doors at 550 Baronne St. on Wednesday, Aug. 18, the stylish contemporary Warehouse District property also unveiled Commons Club, the dining, drinking, socializing, and entertainment epicenter of the hotel as well. Perfect for locals and visitors alike, Commons Club offers an exciting and dynamic experience, ensuring that there is something to suit every mood and palate. Also now open, Funny Library Coffee Shop, a modern mashup – a communal workspace that offers daytime beverages and light bites along with humorous books and games.
Nestled on the ground floor, Commons Club is designed to feel like a modern social club in a playful, sophisticated environment. Under the direction of Executive Chef Alex Harrell, the menu showcases contemporary Southern seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean influences.
“Since Commons Club is so much more than a restaurant, I wanted to create a menu that is suited to the versatility of the space,” offered Executive Chef Alex Harrell. “Guests can come to Commons Club for dinner and enjoy a well-paced coursed meal with a starter, and a main course; or have a few cocktails paired with some shareables like grilled oysters and smoked potato croquettes while they listen to some music. The menu is seasonal and Southern, with some great Mediterranean flavors to add some contrast. There is something for everyone, which I think is the definition of Southern hospitality – making people feel welcome and comfortable; and hopefully well-fed.”
Guests can enjoy Shareables including Smoked Potato Croquettes with trout roe and rouille; Grilled Okra with harissa, cumin, and peanut crumble; and Grilled Gulf Oysters with nduja and bottarga breadcrumbs. Small Plate options are plentiful and include Bluefin Tuna Crudo with green tomatoes, tomato water, and benne seeds and Steamed Corn Flan with Louisiana Blue Crab, chanterelles, and pickled watermelon rind. Mains include Sourdough Cavatelli with charred eggplant, pesto Calabrese, and smoked almonds; Snapperwith field peas, confit tomato, squash, chow chow, and a buttermilk consommé; TX Quail with Italian sausage, Castelvetrano olives, grilled radicchio, whole grain mustard, and vin cotto; and a Wagyu Burger with freezer pickles, smoked gouda, bacon fat aioli, and Alex’s mustard served on a potato bun with fries. Harrell has also created two dishes For the Table – a 24-ounce Ribeye with confit potato braised Vidalia onions and mushrooms, and mustard greens, as well as a Grilled Chicken (half or whole offered) with field peas, Benton’s bacon, spinach, salsa verde, and preserved lemon jus.
Cocktails at Commons Club are equally enticing and include modern classics as well as creatively crafted original concoctions. Guests can sip on libations including Dragon Smoke – Montelobos Mezcal Joven, Cinzano 1757 Rosso, rosemary-infused Campari, and Benedictine; or Saturn’s Son – Termana Blanco, Grand Marnier, Cabernet Sauvignon, and fresh lime. Updated classics include a proprietary version of an espresso martini, Mr. Espresso – a secret New Orleans recipe featuring Svedka Vodka and Nonino Amaro and a Pimm’s Fizz – Pimm’s No.1, Red Door Gin, fresh lime, ginger, and egg white. Wines are offered by the glass or bottle, and a slate of local beers are on offer, many on tap, including Abita Jockamo Juicy IPA and Great Raft Reasonably Corrupt Lager, among others.
For Commons Club, New Orleans-based Logan Killen Interiors blended Virgin Hotels’ signature fun and intelligent design with local touches, historical details, and a nod to New Orleans Art Deco history. The Kitchen at Commons Club features an eclectic and inviting dining room, as well as a communal Chef’s Table surrounding the open kitchen to catch all the action; relaxed indoor “porch” seating mimicking an outdoor space with lush plants, bamboo shades, and a blue stone floor; and a trellis clad private alcove evoking an intimate garden room, ideal for groups of up to 8. A showpiece in Commons Club is The Bar featuring an impressive two-story Cherry Bomb fringe chandelier created by world-renowned lighting designer Lindsey Adelman which is reminiscent of Louisiana’s draping moss trees; wall coverings by Jessalyn Brooks; and a mix of patterns and textures including black and white stripes, cognac leather, and red leopard print. Tucked inside Commons Club, The Shag Room is discrete and intimate, designed to host a variety of social events or reserved for private affairs. This living room-style environment is set against a central fireplace and bar with playful décor. Equestrian découpage wall covering, a smokey mirrored ceiling, and artfully curated figure drawings all come together to set a sumptuous scene with a flirtatious tone.
The Bar at Commons Club is open Sunday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. The Kitchen at Commons Club is open Sunday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. For information on private dining options, please email email@example.com or call 833-791-7700. Reservations are encouraged and can be made via OpenTable here.
In addition, Virgin Hotels New Orleans is home to Funny Library Coffee Shop located on the hotel’s first level. Replacing the usual shhh’s of a traditional library, the coffee shop is a communal workspace, with an assortment of games and whimsical and funny books curated from local book shops. The comfortable space features dark wood and feels like a classic library while mixing eclectic furnishings and playful elements like mixed patterns and bright colors. Funny Library Coffee Shop will pour coffee by La Colombe, which will provide classic signature blends, as well as a selection of pastries and light bites.
Virgin Hotels New Orleans is located at 550 Baronne Street in the city’s Warehouse District. For more info, head to the website: virginhotels.com/new-orleans. For more information on Commons Club, visit commonsclub.com/neworleans and follow Commons Club New Orleans on Instagram at @commonsclubnola.