New Roles for Restaurants
For restaurants, creativity and quick pivots have also been a necessary part of moving forward and continuing to elevate the gatherings of families and friends.
Briquette, located in the former Rodd Brothers Molasses Factory in the CBD, is known for its coastal cuisine with an emphasis on whole fish, craft cocktails and its award-winning wine list. According to Proprietor Anna Tusa, the restaurant was cleaned by COVID Cleaning before reopening with its virus-killing PURTEQ system. While offering distanced dining per the city’s Phase II guidelines over the summer, Briquette also began organizing events for food and drink enthusiasts looking to escape the house.
“We’re featuring a Staycation Summer Dining Series, and our first event was June 25,” says Tusa. Briquette partnered with Wagner Family Wines (Caymus Vineyards) for that event and plans to host an Italian-themed socially distant wine dinner August 19 in conjunction with NOWFE. In addition to events, Briquette offers spaced tables in its main dining room as well as private fine dining in the Briquette Wine Room for special occasions.
“We have been decorating tables with candles, rose petals and flowers, and getting cakes to make our guests’ special events over the top,” says Tusa.
Known for its contemporary French cuisine and chic indoor and courtyard dining, Vyoone’s has also reopened in the Warehouse District. According to Owner Vyoone Therese Segue, the restaurant was known for celebrating special occasions and is now welcoming guests back to its small private event spaces.
“For in-person dining, upstairs provides adequate spacing for social distancing and small-group private dinners for entertaining family and friends,” says Segue. For those entertaining at home or looking for a night off from cooking, Vyoone’s is offering family take-out meals, regular take-out, curbside pick-up and chef-curated catering menus.
Over in Bayou St. John on Esplanade Avenue, Lola’s has been sharing family recipes and family-style dining for 26 years. The popular Spanish restaurant has undergone a full makeover inside and out and now offers expanded outdoor seating under its brand-new pergola and century-old oak tree. Additionally, it offers carry-out with curbside pickup or delivery via Uber Eats. Known for its various tapas, rich paellas, house-made sangria and joyous atmosphere, Lola’s is a neighborhood restaurant that has seen its fair share of birthdays, first dates and engagements.
Owner Isabel Miranda welcomes guests to continue gathering around her grandmother’s recipes whether at the restaurant or elsewhere.
“We love our antipasto, paella and signature house-made sangria – take it to-go for a beautiful sunset picnic on Bayou St. John, just two blocks away,” she says.
701 South Peters St.
3312 Esplanade Ave.
412 Girod St.