Brennan's to reopen after bankruptcy sale

The Associated PressJuly 9, 2014 

— The pink Royal Street building, closed since last summer and stripped of its name shortly thereafter, will once again be called Brennan's.

A bankruptcy judge overseeing the liquidation of Brennan's Inc. on Wednesday approved the sale of the former restaurant's trade name and other assets — including recipes — to an investment group that includes prominent New Orleans restaurateur Ralph Brennan.

The New Orleans Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1ok7ln5) Judge Jerry A. Brown accepted a $3 million offer for the assets from 417 Royal Street LLC, the same group that purchased the Brennan's building at a foreclosure auction last year.

In December, a group of creditors forced Brennan's Inc., the company that until last summer operated the restaurant, into Chapter 7 bankruptcy to collect on claims of more than $60,000.

The list of assets sold includes the Brennan's rooster logo, recipes, menus, a website, customer lists, employee lists, restaurant memorabilia and other property "at the heart of what makes the dining experience at Brennan's Restaurant what it was."

For decades, Brennan's was a fixture of the New Orleans culinary scene. "Breakfast at Brennan's," a lavish morning meal often accompanied by wine and cocktails, helped propel it to fame.

The restaurant had 12 dining rooms and a large patio with a total capacity of 550 people. It opened as a restaurant in 1956, though the building dates back to 1795 and was used as a residence, a bank and an events hall.

The venerable restaurant was evicted from the building June 27, about a month after the building was sold for $6.85 million in a foreclosure auction to Leggo/4, now known as 417 Royal Street. The gold script font spelling out "Brennan's" and beneath it "417 Rue Royale" was scrubbed from the restaurant's entry wall in September, leaving only an outline etched onto the building's façade.

Ownership of the Brennan's name now belongs to a group of investors that includes Ralph Brennan, who is related to the former Brennan's operators, but previously had no role in the Royal Street restaurant.

The building is undergoing renovations and will reopen as Brennan's restaurant at the end of September, said Greg Beuerman, a spokesman for Brennan.

Brennan's company, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, also owns and operates Ralph's on the Park, Red Fish Grill, Cafe NOMA, Heritage Grill, and Cafe B.

Few other details about the new restaurant have been made public but Brennan said last month that Slade Rushing, previously co-chef of MiLa, had been hired as executive chef.

The restaurant's menu is still being finalized but "it's safe to say there will be many things there that people recognize," Beuerman said.

Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com

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