Kane and Dempsey will reopen Le Rosier's restaurant in August for weekday lunch and plan to launch a weekend dinner menu in September. If the community supports it, the restaurant will eventually have a full nightly offering. "We'll see how much more we can take," says Kane, who is leasing Le Rosier from owners David and Carolyn Groner.
Pat Kahle, director of the city's noted tourist attraction Shadows-on-the-Teche, located across Main Street from Le Rosier, says the site has the potential to play an important role in the revitalization under way in downtown New Iberia. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns the Shadows, recently recognized New Iberia's downtown as one of the top five in the country. "We've missed having a restaurant there," Kahle says.
But Kane and Dempsey have quite a reputation to uphold, Kahle says. With owner Hallman Woods II's son, Hallman III, as Le Rosier's chef, the restaurant garnered national attention in the mid-'90s. Food & Wine magazine named the younger Woods one of "America's Best New Chefs" among only eight from New York to San Francisco. "It was wonderful," Kahle says.
While the menu is not finalized, Kane wants the restaurant's fare to range from regional southern American to Spanish and Italian dishes. "We've been toying with that off and on," he says. Tables will be added to the porch, which overlooks the building's signature gardens, making al fresco dining a feature of the B&B. Including outdoor dining, the restaurant can accommodate about 60 guests, and a back dining space for up to 40 will be offered for special functions.
Kane's background is electronics industry sales, though he's quite versed in the kitchen, and Dempsey's is journalism (she's a contributing writer to The Independent Weekly), but she shares Kane's passion for food and cooking. For a couple of years in the early 1990s, Kane worked alongside then-Prejean's award-winning Chef James Graham, later managed Clee Dunning's Gordon Square kitchen for several years, and from 2002 to early this year worked with Bentley Suire at The Filling Station downtown, a job that led him to Le Rosier.
When they set out to find an operator, the Groners approached Suire, who told Kane and Dempsey about the opportunity. The Groners had moved into the 1870s structure, which they purchased from attorney Woods, after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Lili in late 2002. They could not find the time to redevelop the restaurant; David is an attorney, and Carolyn is the food and beverage director at Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, where she also manages the fine dining establishment Mr. Lester's Steakhouse.
The home was originally built by the Koch family, and it was Woods who added the B&B rooms in the back of the house, bringing the total square footage of the two buildings to about 7,000. The Groners redecorated the guest rooms, giving each its own color scheme and identity with appointments like Turkish cotton towels, down comforters, antiques and original works of art. "Each one is very different," Dempsey says. "Carolyn has a genius for decorating. She's created rooms that make you feel like you're staying in the opulent home of a gracious friend."
Kane and Dempsey are taking over the Groners' living quarters and have already hired a local marketing specialist, Debbey Ryan of Prescriptive Marketing.
The couple is banking on success resulting from full-time devotion to the property, in addition to proximity to several tourist destinations, like the Shadows, Konriko Rice Mill and Avery Island/Tabasco. "[New Iberia's] tourism has increased in the last couple of years," Kane says. "Le Rosier is an established brand; it's a recognized name."
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
The messaging battle, however, isn't tied to individual campaign accounts. Third-party groups have poured millions of dollars into advertising.