NOLA REOPENINGS: A Few Places to Eat & Drink Post Hurricane Ida

Chuck Wagon, Shrimp Dumplings, Tableside Egg Service credit Paprika-Studios


NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Following Hurricane Ida and the many issues that followed for local businesses, there are a few restaurants announcing their openings following the hurricane.


Mister Mao, the tropical roadhouse restaurant from Chef Sophina Uong and husband/partner William Greenwell that has gained notoriety since opening in July 2021, is reopening its doors to the public on Friday, Sept. 17. The restaurant will feature a limited menu of eclectic globally-inspired cuisine. Dishes include escargot wellingtons – lemon yogurt, horseradish, powder of stems; pani puri – turmeric potato masala, curry leaf, pickled blueberry, fiery mint water; Chesapeake Bay scallops – apple wood bacon, Chinese dry fried green beans, oyster sauce, basil; and wagyu coulotte – tamari + bonito braised fingerlings, nori salsa verde, among others.

In addition to the a la carte offerings, a four-course Chef’s Choice tasting menu will be available for $55 per person (not including tax + gratuity). Parties of eight or more can enjoy a selection of small plates served from roving carts. Mister Mao will open Thursday – Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday and Monday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Mister Mao is located at 4501 Tchoupitoulas St. in New Orleans.


Bywater American Bistro, Chef Nina Compton and husband/partner Larry Miller’s popular New Orleans eatery, is reopening to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 22, with a special Bayou Benefit Dinner to benefit those in Louisiana’s bayou communities who have been severely affected by Hurricane Ida. Regular dinner service will resume beginning Thursday, Sept. 23; menu offerings based on availability. Bywater American Bistro is located at 2900 Chartres Street. Telephone: (504) 605-3827; Website:


Chef Nina Compton’s James Beard Award-winning culinary gem Compère Lapin, reopens to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The restaurant will be serving a limited menu featuring Compton’s signature dishes such as Curried Goat – sweet potato gnocchi, cashews; Tuna Tartare – leche de tigre, avocado paddlefish caviar, yucca; Zeppole – hazelnuts, caramel; and a new dessert, Mango Creme Brulee with coconut and lime. Compere Lapin will open for dinner Wednesday – Thursday from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. Brunch is available on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Compère Lapin is located at The Old No. 77 at 535 Tchoupitoulas St. Reservations can be made on Resy. Telephone: (504) 599-2119; Website:


Diners can once again rush to get their cracklins’ and Meatery Board fix at Toups Meatery, Chef Isaac Toups’ beloved Cajun eatery located in Mid-City. The restaurant is now open to the public and serving up Isaac’s contemporary Cajun cuisine, which has garnered tons of national acclaim. Toups’ Meatery is open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 a.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.. Toups’ Meatery is located at 845 North Carrollton Ave. Telephone: (504) 252-4999; Website:


Located in the Lower Garden District, Latter Hospitality’s The Bower is reopening to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The veggie-forward restaurant and bar is introducing new menu items by Executive Chef Marcus Woodham. Much like the signature dishes, new offerings are ingredient-driven and flavor-forward. The Bower will open Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. The Bower is located at 1320 Magazine St. Telephone: (504) 582-9738; Website:

Birdy’s Behind The Bower, another Latter Hospitality concept, is a breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot perched in the back of the Framework building. Known for its Southern-inspired, locally-sourced American cuisine, Birdy’s is reopening on Wednesday, Sept. 15, offering guests its signature, comforting breakfast staples and health-conscious fare with the addition of new menu items. Birdy’s will open Monday – Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Birdy’s Behind The Bower is located at 1320 Magazine St. Telephone: (504) 302-2992; Website;


Virgin Hotels New Orleans: The Pool Club, Commons Club, & Funny Library Coffee Shop

With electricity restored post Hurricane Ida, the beautiful new Virgin Hotels New Orleans is set to fully reopen to the public in October; presently its multiple dining and drinking outlets are now welcoming guests. Venues include The Pool Club, a rooftop pool with scenic views and stellar drinks; Commons Club, the brand’s flagship restaurant, bar and lounge; and Funny Library Coffee Shop, a communal workspace with an assortment of games and whimsical and funny books curated from local book shops Vaccination cards or negative PCR COVID-19 tests are required for all establishments and will be checked upon entry.

Set against a backdrop of scenic skyline views, New Orleans’ latest gathering spot, The Pool Club is ready for friends to play, drink and splash. Locals who are not guests at the hotel are welcome to cool off with a dip in the pool by purchasing a Pool Pass available for $25 HERE or at the 13th floor host stand, pending availability. Poolside lounge chairs and VIP sofas must be reserved in advance by contacting the Life of the Party at [email protected]  The Pool Club is open for drinks daily from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; pool pass hours in effect ‘til 6 p.m..

Commons Club Bar & Restaurant, the social epicenter of Virgin Hotels New Orleans, is open daily from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.. Executive Chef Alex Harrell is offering a limited food menu featuring Southern seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean influences. Standouts include roasted mushroom fritters, grilled okra, and confit chicken leg. Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made on OpenTable.


Located on the hotel’s first level, Funny Library Coffee Shop offers continental breakfast and coffee by La Colombe; it is open daily from 7 a.m. – Noon.  For updates and information on expanded services and hours, events including Game Day specials, music and other entertainment, please follow @poolclubnola and @commonsclubnola. Virgin Hotels New Orleans is located at 550 Baronne St. For additional information, visit