Michael earned his place in Lafayette lore through delivery of food, drink and service when his patrons wanted to celebrate. Is there a bigger honor than being asked to handle the details of a daughter's wedding or a family's holiday celebration? And the operational detail that had to be coordinated in the gauntlet between Thanksgiving and Mardi Gras was always an exercise in delicately controlled chaos that would impress the most seasoned CEO. He delivered consistently from massive Mardi Gras balls all the way through a single serving of Eggplant Audrey for a grandmother's birthday without seeming to sweat.
These constant engagements coupled with the exceptional food he put into people's events exposed him frequently to solicitations for donations. Being in the restaurant business myself, I understand how often you do get asked to give. I truly believe that he was not able to turn away a request ' and there sometimes as many as 20 per week, all for a good cause ' of someone who had been a good customer or a better friend. His generosity may well have been his undoing. Brian Blanchard was correct in stating the misconceptions of the margins in the restaurant business and when you give of your business you truly have to take long strides to recoup that donation. If you are donating as often as Michael was, then there will certainly be a mountain to climb.
I write this letter not to defend the financial nor operational predicaments a la carte endured in recent times. We have all weathered storms of our own creation. I think the safe harbor of Brian's involvement and his expertise will refill the entire enterprise with new life; for that I am pleased for the two of them.
But I do feel as though the tone of the article could be potentially disparaging to an accomplished and seasoned businessman going through a tough time. Michael is a great citizen and a philanthropic neighbor in ways that we should all strive to be. To have his name become known as one who was made a mess of things is a travesty; I admire his contributions to all of the celebrations, gatherings and good causes in Acadiana. His class, good nature and generous spirit are his calling card and should be his legacy.
As Michael enters this chapter of his career and begins to re-build the foundations of a la carte with Brian, I wish them much success. His product has long been his reputation and that will certainly see him through.
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.