When a friend suggested a double date to check out the new “modern bodega” The Rabbit’s Foot in the Lower Garden District, my enthusiastic response was, “Ah! I’ve been waiting for this to open! This is just the sort of bougie [sh–] I love.” Those who know me would discern the compliment and complete lack of irony in that statement. I do in fact truly appreciate and seek out bougie [sh–]. Our friends lived a chapter of their lives in New York, so their expectations were informed by experience, whereas, while I’ve been to a bodega in New York, I was a teenager at the time, had no knowledge of the bodega lifestyle and only in my adulthood learned that part of the bodega ethos is that it’s absolutely crammed full of stuff and that there are generally cats. In keeping with its modern model, The Rabbit’s Foot has more of a clean, minimalist vibe, which makes sense in the context of hospitality veteran owner Ryan Murphy’s concept, but it was disappointingly bereft of cats. Though given the name of the establishment, I would accept — nay, encourage — one or more live rabbits as store mascots, instead.
Meanwhile, what you can expect is delicious coffee, pastries, gourmet products, fine toiletries and bath accoutrements, as well as a local, seasonal food menu. We got there too late to try the bacon, egg and cheese on a roll — there had apparently been a run on them that morning — but the bagels heaped with more than generous portions of cream cheese hit the spot. Murphy’s commitment to a robust coffee program is evident. Bean enthusiasts will enjoy grabbing their favorite coffee beverage while there and picking up a pound for the road from popular New Orleans roasters, including Congregation Coffee and Hey Coffee Co. From the retail side, we filled our basket with local and non-local treats, including a couple of containers of chili crunch, a packet of fancy turmeric latte, a pint of Rahm Haus ice cream and a baguette from Bellegarde Bakery.
Upscale versions of toothpaste, soap and other essential toiletries you’d normally find at a bodega are on offer, but our former New Yorker friend, who says he would typically go to the bodega for things he forgot at the grocery store, pointed out that he didn’t see a single roll of toilet paper. “And I mean that literally. Our bodega would sell single rolls of TP.” He pointedly observes that Rabbit’s Foot is a place to stock “things you want, as opposed to things you need.” Which again I feel is in alignment with the concept, so it’s all good. He goes on to say, “I totally dig it and am going back tomorrow for the bacon, egg and cheese on a roll.”
I too plan to return soon for the roll and will retain hopes that at some future date we’ll also have close encounters with bodega cats. Or bunnies. The ball — er, paw — is in your court, Murphy.
Do you have design or lifestyle-related news to share or want to talk about bougie stuff? Email Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.