After a two-year search, tiki expert and frequentTales of the Cocktail panelist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has found a New Orleans location for a drinking and dining establishment. Berry announced his plans in an Easter weekend press release.
Berry said he and his wife, Annene, will open Latitude 29, named for New Orleans’ latitude, in the space currently occupied by Iris restaurant in the Bienville House Hotel, 321 N. Peters St., in the French Quarter.
Restaurant writer Brett Anderson reported April 6 that Iris will close at the end of May. Iris owners Laurie Casebonne and Ian Schnoebelen said they wish to focus on Mariza, the Italian restaurant they opened in Bywater in 2013.
Berry, who has hired designer Bosko Hrnjak to help make Latitude 29 a reality, said the remodeling of the Iris space will begin in June, with Latitude 29 expected to open in the fall. Hrnjak’s projects include Taboo Cove in Las Vegas, Mister Tiki Mai Kai Lounge in San Diego and Le Tiki Lounge in Paris.
Steve Yamada will be Latitude 29’s head bartender and co-general manager. Yamada, who has worked at such bars as Victory and Tivoli & Lee, was part of the opening team for chef John Folse and chef Rick Tramonto’s Restaurant R’evolution, where Yamada was responsible for setting up all bar operations and training the bar staff in proper technique and guest relations.
Chris Shortall will be Latitude 29’s executive chef. Shortall began his career with an internship at Restaurant August. Eventually, he moved on to Coquette. Currently, Shortall serves up Texas-style barbecue at Twelve Mile Limit, a venture he expects to continue even as he strives to bring a new kind of Asian-inspired cuisine to the French Quarter at Latitude 29.
thanks to original post: http://www.nola.com/drink/index.ssf/2014/04/tiki_expert_jeff_beachbum_berr.html