NEW ORLEANS (press release) – In fall 2019, restaurateurs Nick Hufft and Lon Marchand will open Junior’s on Harrison (Junior’s) at 789 Harrison Avenue in New Orleans’ Lakeview neighborhood. The dynamic duo, both New Orleans locals, currently operate Curbside Burgers and The Overpass Merchant in Baton Rouge, and Gail’s Fine Ice Cream – a mobile creamery – and are excited to bring their homegrown restaurant philosophy to their own city.
According to Hufft, who has been a resident of Lakeview for over a decade, “We spent a lot of time looking for the perfect spot to open in New Orleans and when the space (formerly Cava) became available, we knew it was meant to be. It’s a great corner of the city and we’re looking forward to getting everyone back in.”
Billed as a “strangely familiar neighborhood joint,” Junior’s will cater to the diverse demographic of the area, offering plenty of reasons to stop by: business lunches, dates, family outings, and late nights. The two-story, 110-seat eatery has been renovated by the partners with help from architecture firm Studio Cicada and Lanco Construction, and will exude a sense of relaxed sophistication. Incorporating natural woods, blue and grey hues, soft leathers, marble touches, handmade tiles, and tropical plants, Junior’s will offer a variety of spaces to congregate. The upstairs bar is the perfect perches to imbibe, as lively bartenders whip up creative concoctions. For more traditional dining, spacious wood and marble tables with comfortable saddle leather chairs and banquettes line the interior dining room. Upstairs, an expansive terrace is the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day or indulge in Sunday Brunch with friends. Uplit trees, and lush landscaping, with a variety of seating options will create a tranquil, al fresco dining experience.
Reflecting the sensibility and background of the co-owners, Junior’s menu will invite sharing, with a focus on modern American approachable cuisine in a warm and welcoming space. The menu, still in development, will feature moderately-priced Snacks, Salads, Soups and Small Plates, Sandwiches and Mains, perfect for sharing so guests can enjoy a variety of tastes and flavors. Among the standouts are Wisconsin’s Best Cheese Curds with buttermilk ranch; Blue Crab + Corn Fritters with roasted hatch chilis and a sweet chili aioli; Shrimp + Gulf Fish Ceviche; and a variety of Steam Buns with a choice from crispy rock shrimp, bulgogi pork or Szechuan chicken. Mains will include an elevated version of Chicken Fried Steak and the Dry Aged Burger (a standout at the 2019 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival) featuring a house blend of chuck, brisket & short rib, made your way. Diners can also expect specialty menus and weekly themes including Oysters & Champs, Boudin & BBQ and more.
Junior’s will offer a custom bar program, still being tweaked, designed by Hufft and Marchand themselves. “We like creative cocktail programs that lean towards being progressive without being over-complicated and pretentious and that’s our goal here,” says Marchand. “We’ll have fun cocktails, good wines and bubbly, and a nice tap list that stays up to date with American beer culture. Don’t worry – if you want a cold, classic domestic we’re going to have those too.” Many of the ingredients in each cocktail will be made in-house, including seasonal syrups, jams and cordials. Examples include the Curse Lifter with gin, vermouth and house made cucumber-lime cordial and Camp Water, a twist on the Texas classic Ranch Water cocktail, features Eagle Rare Bourbon with house honey syrup and fresh lemon. House margaritas include The Grandma with fresh strawberries and The Grandpa – served with an extra Cadillac floater of Grand Marnier.
“Our goal at Junior’s is to meet the food and drink needs of the neighborhoods on this side of town – a quick drink at the bar or on the balcony, a leisurely family lunch, watching the Saints during Sunday Brunch or an intimate date-night dinner. We love this building and this street, and hopefully the folks around here are happy with what we’ve done to the place,” says Marchand.
Junior’s on Harrison located at 789 Harrison Avenue in New Orleans’ Lakeview neighborhood, will open early fall 2019. www.juniorsonharrison.com. Hufft and Marchand will also open a brick and mortar locale of Gail’s Fine Ice Cream in the neighborhood later this year. www.gailsfineicecream.com