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On this edition of The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we talk with two excellent and insightful New Orleans restaurateurs – Justin Devillier, chef/owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise along with Robért LeBlanc of the LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group. We discuss the restaurant and bar landscape here in New Orleans as well as other things.

Pictured above from left – Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show, Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and Balise, and Robert LeBlanc of LeBlanc+Smith – proprietors of Sylvain, Meauxbar, Cavan, Barrel Proof, and Longway Tavern.

The NOLADrinks Show – 9-3-18 – New Orleans Restaurateurs Justin Devillier and Robért LeBlanc

We kick things off talking about the return of South Africa Wine Week in November here in New Orleans. We touch on a bit about the world of South African wine, as well. Also, we make note that right around now is the 2-year anniversary of The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias!

Then, we join our featured interview with James Beard award-winning chef, Justin Devillier, executive chef/owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise and Robért LeBlanc of the LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group. LeBlanc+Smith operates several noted spots in New Orleans – Sylvain, Cavan, Meauxbar, Barrel Proof, and Longway Tavern.

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We discuss their backgrounds and how they got into the hospitality industry. Both started with very little experience or formal training and worked their way up the ladder. We chat about some of the challenges and difficulties along the way. Of course, we talk about their terrific spots.

We also discuss the current landscape around town for establishments with an emphasis on independent sit-down restaurants and bars. As we emerge from the summer months, always a tough season here in New Orleans, we make some observations about the reality of the business. Justin and Robért offer some tips and insight into achieving success in this tough environment. We talk about the importance and unique role the hospitality industry plays here.

Both Justine and Robért stick around for our podcast-only portion of the show – “Another Shot with NOLADrinks” – where we continue the chat. We talk about work-life balance, views on employees drinking on the job, and a bit more on their backgrounds in the music business.

We close things out with our “Parting Shot” where we talk about last weekend’s Southern Decadence event – a terrific happening that, today, celebrates the vibrant LGBTQ culture in New Orleans. We cover its origins, touch on the context of when it came to be, and the joy it brings to the city these days.

The map below shows the locations of La Petite Grocery, Balise, Sylvain, Cavan, Meauxbar, Barrel Proof, and Longway Tavern. Above, you can subscribe to, stream, and download The NOLADrinks Show podcast with the player at the top of the post!

Cheers, You All!

~ Bryan