The ever-changing New Orleans dining scene has brought us more news from Metairie of late. Two developments can be observed here.
The pantry joins Willa Jean
The Larder is a gourmet market and deli in Metairie for a wide range of tastes.
Photo by Chris Granger
The Larder Gourmet Market + Eatery (3005 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, (504) 766-6157) is a lot of things rolled into one, with a mix of pantry specialties, local artisan brands, and the fresh dishes for its deli take-out suitcases and its dine-in menu.
Soon it will also be a second outlet for Willa Jean’s breads and baked goods.
That’s because BRG Hospitality, the parent company of this downtown brunch hotspot, bought the Larder this month and now operates it.
Octavio Mantilla, a partner at BRG, said the company was drawn to the Veterans Boulevard location. He said they aren’t planning any major changes to the concept, although he says there are clear “synergies” as another market for the baking program at Willa Jean.
Photo of JOHN McCUSKER’s legal staff — Ciabatta loaves are part of the bread program at the Willa Jean, a coffee shop and bakery in the Paramount Building on O’Keefe Avenue.
This restaurant, part of the South Market development, is doing a booming downtown breakfast and brunch business and also operates a bakery counter.
“We really like what they’ve built here and want to improve it with what we’re doing, rather than change it,” Mantilla said.
The Larder is a gourmet market and deli in Metairie with a modern feel and great selection.
Photo by Chris Granger
The company retained the pantry staff throughout the change of ownership.
The building was once a Burger King, and it still has the drive-through window to prove it. It was later a location for New Orleans Coffee & Beignet Co. It was modernized to become The Larder with a clean look of white tile, chalkboard menus and one temptation at a time. There is a small collection of tables for indoor seating and a new outdoor patio out front.
The New Orleans-based hospitality company bought it from co-founders Alison Vega-Knoll and Chris Wilson, who opened Larder together in late 2020.
The two are chefs, with Wilson having worked for decades for Emeril Lagasse and Vega-Knoll, Station 6’s founding chef, and also the much earlier Vega Tapas Cafe. She and her husband, Drew Knoll, sold Station 6 earlier this year to a group that includes Aaron Burgau of New Orleans.