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Where Y’Eat: As a new year rolls in, new restaurants on the way

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Ian McNulty
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The classic Bon Ton restaurant is coming back with new owners in 2023.

The classic Cajun restaurant Bon Ton is coming back with a new owner; and the former K-Paul's will soon become a casual brunch spot called French Quarter Boulangerie.

The former Fair Grinds Coffeehouse is becoming a deli from the Cafe Degas people just across the street. And in Metairie an odd, cast off triangular lot by Causeway and Airline is on its way to becoming an outdoor patio-style restaurant for tacos and margaritas called Las Cruces.

All this represents but a few highlights of restaurants now taking shape around the area.

The beginning of the year can feel like a bit of a slump after the holidays, and before Mardi Gras truly gets rolling. But for those of us who obsessively follow New Orleans restaurants, it seems there is no downtime because there is so much in the works and on the way.

The continued pipeline of new projects is significant because it’s hard to overstate just how tumultuous the span of time we’ve experienced has been for restaurant people in particular.

Shortages and price hikes, the enduring impact of whatever stage of the pandemic this is and the long shadow of what it took for restaurants to make it through a time of cascading crises have all played out in the local business. Many restaurants closed as a result.

But another dynamic has been the persistent renewal of the New Orleans restaurant community.

New additions are elevating local flavor, bringing traditions from across the globe, continuing family narratives and expressing new visions and ideas. And they’re giving us a whole lot more new places to check out.

The little teasers I gave at the beginning are just that. I have full details rounded up on these, and about a dozen more here on NOLA.com.

While putting all that together, you better believe I had this often repeated, but undeniably accurate adage in my head: In New Orleans, when we get together at a restaurant, we’re already talking about the next one we want to visit.

Ian covers food culture and dining in New Orleans through his weekly commentary series Where Y’Eat.