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Please note – the interview portions of this show were taped on Saturday, March 21. We want to let you know this, as information is constantly changing – please keep that in mind!

On this important episode of The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias we discuss implications and ideas connected to the coronavirus crisis and what it means to the hospitality industry in New Orleans and beyond. We’re joined by Robért LeBlanc, owner of LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group. We’re also joined by Ali Grieb, their director of development.

Pictured above from left – Ali Grieb and Robért LeBlanc of LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group.

NOLADrinks Show – Coronavirus and the Hospitality Industry – LeBlanc+Smith – Mar20Ep3

We start things off letting you know about this week’s show as well as some programming notes. This includes some programming notes on how we’ve been rolling out the last couple shows and such.

Then, we have our featured interview. We’re joined via phone by Robért LeBlanc, founder and creative director of LeBlanc+Smith restaurant group. We discuss various aspects of the coronavirus crisis’ impacts and potential impacts on the hospitality industry. Certainly, there is a New Orleans angle to our discussion, but much is relevant anywhere and wherever the industry is impacted. Of course, NOLA’s economic and social connections to the industry are somewhat unique and more prevalent than most places and that factors into our conversation, as well.

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We have a frank discussion on the choices LeBlanc+Smith made regarding temporarily shutting down their 5 New Orleans spots (Cavan, Meauxbar, Barrel Proof, Sylvain, and Longway Tavern), laying off employees, and other implications moving forward. We touch on a program where you can purchase a gift card online from any of their places for use when they re-open. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds go to assist their affected employees.

Also, we discuss and speculate on what the scene may look like once we begin to return to normal. Of course, this includes acknowledging the resilience of New Orleans and what the hospitality industry means to the fabric of our culture.

Pictured above from left – Bryan Dias and Sylvia Thompson-Dias of The NOLADrinks Show at Sylvain during happy times! Can’t wait to get back soon!

Robért sticks around for our podcast-only segment, “Another Shot with NOLADrinks.” We’re also joined, then, by LeBlanc+Smith’s director of development, Ali Grieb. She has done and continues to do extensive work on researching programs, unemployment benefits, and more. Ali shares thoughts and ideas for workers affected by the situation. Robért also discusses some specifics for business owners on navigating the SBA process. Much of what we discuss here is relevant to any laid off or furloughed employee or small business owner.

The map below shows the location of the 5 LeBlanc+Smith locations in New Orleans – please be sure to patronize them when they’re back in action! You can subscribe to, stream, and download The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias podcast using the links and player at the top of the post!

Cheers and Be Safe, You All!

~ Bryan