NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Led by Executive Chef Chris Lusk and Bar Supervisor Paula Echevarria, Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats will open on May 11, 2021, at the new Kimpton Hotel Fontenot in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District (CBD). Peacock Room opens as an elevated, energetic hotspot where cocktails are sipped and bites are shared while Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, a lively corner café, offers twists on traditional coffee shop favorites as well as a variety of creative frozen beverages for adults. Restaurant & Bar General Manager Jessica Retif will oversee both concepts.
“New Orleans is known for its rich, cultural dining scene and dynamic cocktail offerings, and we’re excited to debut two truly outstanding concepts that honor the city’s past while celebrating its modern creative class,” said Retif. “We look forward to inviting guests to revel in the electric energy of each space. Whether it’s a late-night craft cocktail at Peacock Room or a mid-day boozy milkshake at Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, guests can experience twists on classic New Orleans flavors and unparalleled Southern hospitality in the heart of downtown.”
Effortlessly blending the eccentric personality of New Orleans’ bar culture with the old-world charm and sophistication of a classic social club, Peacock Room delivers a bright and vibrant feel during the day and a sexy, moody atmosphere come sundown, perfect for an afternoon aperitif, dinner or an end-of-evening nightcap. The interior of Peacock Room features a bohemian mix of art, vintage carpets, brass hardware, crystal fixtures and velvet upholstery. Under the leadership of Bar Supervisor Paula Echevarria, the cocktail lounge will serve a contemporary selection of exceptional, hard-to-come-by spirits and evocative craft cocktails, such as the bright yet smoky Primp and Preen, made with mezcal, white rum, orgeat, fresh citrus and a touch of blue curaçao, and the sweet and creamy Right Place/Wrong Time, made with a butter-infused vodka, coconut milk and espresso syrup. For the food-focused, Executive Chef Chris Lusk’s menu features refined shareable interpretations of regional classics, including items like Crawtator Crusted Oysters with jalapeno sriracha, mirliton and bacon lardon; Blue Crab Pimento Cheese with port salut, Calabrian chiles and toasted brioche; and Fruits de Mer Pho, made with cashew hoisin, grouper, shrimp ramen and crab boulettes.
Just a few steps away from Peacock Room, in a minimalist-designed space flooded with natural light and energized upbeat music, is Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats. And just like at Peacock Room, Gospel will host regular performances from an array of talented local musicians. The café features banquette seating along Tchoupitoulas Street and a laptop-friendly central communal table equipped with functional power. The café’s expertly crafted espresso drinks, drip coffee and rotating pour-over selections are offered alongside a selection of coffee-infused cocktails and alcohol-infused shakes, like the Holy Atolé, a twist on Mexican hot chocolate with mezcal, and the Red Velvet Cornbread Cupcake made with bourbon creole cream cheese. The food program at Gospel is formatted for light eating-on-the-go with items like NOLA-inspired breakfast tacos made with crab-boiled potato, andouille sausage and jalapeno sriracha; house-made pastries; and breakfast poboy made with house-made cane syrup, sausage and Tabasco aioli. Guests can also enjoy house-made frozen custards, including monthly seasonal flavors off the café’s Custard Calendar, like Strawberry Shortcake made with vanilla custard, white chocolate, fresh strawberries and a sweet biscuit.
“We’re thrilled to introduce guests and our New Orleans neighbors to the flavors and culinary experiences we’ve worked so hard to create,” said Chef Chris Lusk, executive chef of Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats. “Cultivating a myriad of flavors, we honed in on fresh, fun and bright ingredients that showcase our city’s creative and electric energy.”
With more than a decade of experience working in top kitchens around the United States, Chef Chris Lusk is highly skilled in several culinary disciplines, including Southern cooking techniques. Most recently, Lusk joined BRG and One House Hospitality, serving as executive chef of The Pontchartrain Hotel and The Caribbean Room. Lusk has earned critical acclaim and accolades throughout his culinary career, including being honored as one of Esquire’s “Four Breakout Chefs to Watch” and “Chef to Watch” by Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine in 2009. Additionally, he was selected as a winner of the highly competitive Louisiana Seafood Cook-off in 2010 and was invited to cook at the esteemed James Beard House in 2011.
Paula Echevarria is a locavore always in search of a good cocktail and a great story. Prior to taking on the role of bar supervisor, Echevarria not only worked behind the bar at local establishments, but also spent many years as a member of the media covering the food and beverage industry. She won an Emmy for her kitchen production work while at NBCUniversal, and was nominated a second time while working as associate producer for PBS’s “Check, Please! South Florida.” She was previously the Miami editor for Tasting Table, and has contributed to Miami New Times, Eater New Orleans and others. She worked as lead bartender and assistant manager at Central City’s tiki oasis, Portside Lounge. And most recently, she worked as senior bartender at the new Columns Hotel under the Coquette food and beverage team.
Peacock Room is open Sunday through Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Both concepts are located within the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, a 202-room MARKZEFF-designed property, at 501 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130. For more information on Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, visit www.hotelfontenot.com. To find out more about Peacock Room, go to peacockroomnola.com. And for Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, head over to gospelcoffeenola.com. You can also follow Peacock Room on Instagram and Facebook @peacockroomnola and follow Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats on Instagram @gospelcoffeenola.