K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, a renowned brand in New Orleans, is permanently closing, the restaurant announced Monday.
The restaurant, shuttered since May, has suffered from repeated closings due to government-mandated restrictions.
K-Paul’s was founded by married couple chef Paul Prudhomme and Kay Hinrichs Prudhomme in 1979. Brenda Prudhomme, Paul Prudhomme’s niece, and Paul Miller, her husband and executive chef, took over the restaurant in October 2015 after Paul Prudhomme’s death.
“We learned from the best and will always be grateful for the vision and passion of Chef Paul and Kay,” Brenda Prudhomme said in a statement.
The restaurant started with a capacity of 62, but soon became a hotspot in the French Quarter known for its long lines and community dining. The building, constructed in 1864, was renovated in 1996, and capacity grew to more than 200 seats. Rich Stone, CCIM, of New Orleans-based NAI Latter & Blum, has been hired to facilitate a sale of the historic building.
The brand’s name will not be sold; closure plans include retirement of the K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen name. Chef Paul’s Magic Seasoning Blends is a separate entity and will continue operations from its headquarters in Elmwood, Louisiana.
“We have been blessed and honored to serve our customers who have become family through shared stories, breaking bread with jalapeño cheddar yeast rolls and raised martini glasses,” Brenda Prudhomme said. “We will also treasure the memories of all of our amazing staff members over the years, knowing that they will carry a piece of K-Paul’s with them for the rest of their careers.”
K-Paul’s closure is an example of how the independent segment has been disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic.
In June, the Independent Restaurant Coalition released a report stating 85 percent of independent restaurants could permanently close by the end of 2020—crumbling a segment that generates about $760 billion in sales and employs 11 million people. This is if direct aid, like a stabilization fund, is not provided.
To assist the independent segment, Democratic Rep. Earl Blumeanuer from Oregon introduced the RESTAURANTS Act in June, which would establish a $120 billion fund for foodservice or drinking establishments that aren’t publicly traded or part of a chain that includes 20 or more locations under the same name.