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On this NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias we cover the Lady(s) Behind Bars fundraising benefit for Dress for Success New Orleans. We then talk the importance of restaurant culture, what it means to lose a founding chef, and starting your own establishment with Robért LeBlanc of the LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group and Chef/Owner Alex Harrell of Angeline.

Pictured above from left at the Lady(s) Behind Bars Event – Kate Brodock of Women 2.0, Chelsea O’Lansen of Jospehine Estelle & USBG NOLA, Adrienne Miller of Toups’ Meatery & Toups South, Lucinda Weed of Black Penny & St. Germain, Maggie Morgan of Cane & Table, and Tracie Franklin of Glenfiddich.

NOLADrinks Show – 5-4-17 – Restaurant Culture and Lady(s) Behind Bars

We start the show off right away at the Lady(s) Behind Bars happy hour event that took place at Cane & Table on Tuesday, May 2. This was a charity benefit for the terrific Dress for Success New Orleans, an organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by assisting them with professional clothing for interviews, résumé development, and other career support.

Lady(s) Behind Bars featured a stellar line-up of female guest bartenders who crafted drinks that were inspired by female empowerment. We chat, first, with Tracie Franklin, East Coast Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich and co-founder of the concept, along with Kate Brodock of Women 2.0, an event partner. We talk about the event, its importance, and more.

We then are joined by two of the bartenders lending a hand to the cause – Adrienne Miller, bar manager of Toups’ Meatery and Toups South, and Lucinda Weed, brand specialist for St. Germain and a bartender at Black Penny. We talk about their drinks, their inspiration for them, and why they got involved with the event.

We close out this portion of the show with Maggie Morgan, a bartender at Cane & Table who also participated, along with Tracie rejoining us. We talk about Maggie’s involvement and the New Orleans bartending scene that is laden with talented women, as well as how female-identifying bartenders and others in the alcohol business support each other and will do so moving forward.

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Our next segments feature another round of talking the restaurant business. This time, we talk about the importance of restaurant culture and how that it is critical in maintaining success and consistency, even in the face of losing staff and other challenges.

We have this conversation with Robért LeBlanc (at left, center) of the LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group, proprietor of New Orleans’ Sylvain, Cavan, Meauxbar, and Barrel Proof. Chef/Owner Alex Harrell (at left, right) of Angeline is also on-hand for the topic. Alex was the founding chef at Sylvain before opening his own place. We talk about their history together (they’re still good friends, by the way!), the topics mentioned above, and how Alex’s departure played out. We also discuss the implications of this and how both restaurateurs influenced and supported each other (and still do).

It’s an interesting conversation that is also quite candid. As Robért points out, often when restaurant owners and leadership get together, the chatter is almost always, “we’re killing it,” “we’re making tons of money,” etc. This is a refreshingly honest conversation. By the way, we start off this bit with some comments on the frequent practice of people making reservations, particularly large groups, and then no-showing and not calling to cancel. We talk about how that can represent a significant loss for an establishment’s day.

Below the map that features some of the locations discussed on the show, you can subscribe to, stream, and download the podcast!

Cheers, You All!

~ Bryan

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