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 Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
Chris Williams knows how to pilfer from the public coffers, this time with a back-pay lawsuit filed three years ago against the Lafayette Housing Authority, which netted the former city-parish councilman a cool five figures.
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office — for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
The Green Army's Lafayette brigade has announced it will pay a visit Friday morning to Sen. Page Cortez to urge him to vote against Sen. Robert Adley's SB 553, which the group is calling the "Big Oil Bailout Bill of 2014."