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."
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.