Established NOLA restaurants are closing, but why?

Established New Orleans restaurants are closing after explosion of growth in the city.

NEW ORLEANS - Last year there was a lot of buzz around 20 new restaurants opening up, but recent news about restaurants have been about closures such as "Oxalis" and "Noodle and Pie" in Uptown. 

"Restaurants that have been around for a long time along time, they're ingrained," as food critic Ian McNulty describes them.

After an explosion of growth that started back in 2011, new comers are trying to figure out if they can sustain Mcnulty said. "Sometimes after a few years, restaurants find out they've run out of their line of credit."

To some patrons, it may seem restaurants are closing out of nowhere, such as with "Oxalis."

"What you sometimes see is not necessarily they didn't have anybody coming through the door sometimes the leases are difficult," McNulty said.

Matt Ray who manages with the team that runs "Cafe Henri" alongside, "Cane and Table" and "Cure."

"Where as maybe 10-years-ago you could depend on a group of locals that were really close to keep your business open completely on their own, now it's about 50/50," Ray said.

Ray says adjusting to changing tastes helps patrons come back. 

"We've changed the food a lot," Ray said. "We've got a new executive chef, we've changed the menu quite a bit, we just keep our heads down and keep working."

But what doesn't change is the service. 

"The most important thing with a restaurant or bar is to be kind," Ray said.

And despite closures, McNulty says the local restaurant industry is healthy. It's just that time of the year. 

"Most restaurant operators know the summer is slower.  It's a tougher time for restaurants in general," McNulty said. "If they don't feel they are going to be able to stretch their business through the summer now is probably the time they are going to cut it loose."

© 2017 WWL-TV


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