The historic Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar is growing, and its latest move will return the well-known New Orleans name to Bourbon Street.
In a deal completed Friday (July 7), Felix’s Restaurant Group has taken over the restaurant space at 208 Bourbon St. That had been the Italian eatery Creole Carre, which is now closed. In a previous chapter of its long history, however, Felix’s had occupied the same restaurant space for more than 20 years.
The return is another expansion from Felix’s original location, just around the corner on Iberville Street. The old restaurant space and this Bourbon Street space were once connected, and they will be again.
The new plans here will create (or, rather, re-create) a much larger New Orleans seafood house, which will form an L shape with entrances on both Bourbon and Iberville streets. The expansion is slated to open by August.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Danny Conwill, owner of Felix’s Restaurant Group. “It gives us a presence on Bourbon Street and it more than doubles our capacity. There's so much more we can do here now."
At the same time, Felix’s Restaurant Group has taken over Amici Ristorante & Bar, another Italian restaurant at 3218 Magazine St.
Conwill, meanwhile, is excited to expand his restaurant company locally and is particularly buoyant on the potential for Felix’s on Bourbon Street.
Lately, this stretch of the French Quarter has not been an easy place to do business. Intensive street construction has cordoned off entire blocks of Bourbon Street, including, currently, the one on which Felix’s expansion sits. Meanwhile, high profile street crime in the nearby area has put security concerns front and center.
Conwill, however, takes the long view that Bourbon Street will improve with businesses that showcase what New Orleans does best.
“Our goal is to really give a first class experience on Bourbon Street,” he said. “People are looking for fresh and local and authentic, and that’s what we do, it’s local seafood in the New Orleans style. We serve the food that locals love and that visitors come here to get.”
Robbie Orgeron, manager of the Felix’s Restaurant Group, said the new space with its much larger kitchen will lead to an expanded menu, one that could bringing back boiled seafood and a wider variety of fish from the grill.
“We’re going back to our roots, back to the heyday of Felix’s,” said Orgeron.
In May, he opened a second, much larger Felix’s on the waterfront in Gulfport, Mississippi, taking over the former Ajax Seafood Kitchen.
Read more about Felix’s expansion plans at TheAdvocate.com.