Galatoire's restaurant changing hands as part of multi-million dollar purchase

Galatoire's restaurant changing hands as part of multi-million dollar purchase

Galatoire's restaurant changing hands as part of multi-million dollar purchase

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by Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on December 9, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 9 at 5:14 PM

NEW ORLEANS - Galatoire’s, the century-old Bourbon Street restaurant that has attained iconic status as a standard bearer for New Orleans French-Creole cuisine, is changing hands in a sale involving restaurant family members and a LaPlace businessman.  Late Wednesday it was also announced that businessman and New Orleans mayoral candidate John Georges will be majority owner under the new arrangement.

Sources close to the negotiations put the purchase price for the French Quarter location, as well as a Baton Rouge franchise opened after Hurricane Katrina, at approximately $11 million.

Galatoire’s, founded in 1905, was up until the sale owned and operated by a board comprised of more than 33 descendants of founder Jean Galatoire.

A statement released Wednesday outlined the new partnership between St. Charfles parish businessman/investor Todd Trosclair and family members Leon Galatoire, Michele Galatoire, Duane Galatoire Attaway, Ashley Attaway and Craighten Attaway.

Late Wednesday, hours after Georges qualified to run for mayor, a press release from his staff indicated he had also signed on as an investor. 

Georges spokesman Bill Kearney confirmed that Trosclair had approached Georges in recent weeks as the deal was inked.  While Georges will acquire the largest share, Trosclair will serve as chairman of the restaurant's board, according to the Georges statement. 

In recent years, differing opinions on the future of the restaurant emerged within the group of founder Jean Galatoire's descendants who run the restaurant, according to at least one person familiar with the negotiations. Some board members had entertained the idea of selling the restaurant to a group of investors including millionaire businessman Donald “Boysie” Bollinger. He is not a part of the ownership change announced Wednesday.

Businessman Todd Trosclair, who is a partner in the new deal, is listed as the chief executive officer of AllStar Electric Inc. of LaPlace.  In 2006, Gov. Kathleen Blanco appointed him to the state’s Uniform Construction Code Council.

The statement released Wednesday said Galatoire family member David Gooch will remain part of the restaurant’s management team, along with Melvin Rodrigue, chief operating officer, and Executive Chef Brian Landry. Rodrigue has worked at the restaurant for 12 years, Gooch for more than 30 years.

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