K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, the iconic New Orleans restaurant that helped to cement the city’s reputation as a culinary leader, and made founder Chef Paul Prudhomme and international star, has closed permanently.
The world-famous restaurant was established in 1979 by Prudhomme and his wife Kay Hinrichs Prudhomme.
What began as a modest 62-seat restaurant on Chartres Street in the French Quarter would become a national sensation, growing to a capacity of over 200 with nightly lines of enthusiastic diners from around the world.
Its popularity also is credited to helping boost the popularity of the French Quarter with tourists from around the world.
K-Paul’s, as most people called it, closed in May in due to mandated city-wide Coronavirus shutdowns. It is one of the most prominent restaurants anywhere in the USA, not just in New Orleans, to become a permanent victim of the pandemic.
For many of us who love fine food, prepared and served lovingly, this is like a death in the family.
A statement released by the restaurant said that “With gratitude for many happy and successful years, the management team of K-Paul’s is regretfully announcing permanent closure of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen.”
Brenda Prudhomme, Chef Paul’s niece and Paul Miller, her husband and the restaurant’s executive chef, worked side by side with the world-famous chef for many years and assumed the reins of the restaurant after the chef passed away on October 8, 2015.
“We learned from the best and will always be grateful for the vision and passion of Chef Paul and Kay,” Brenda Prudhomme said in a statement.
The difficult decision to shut down the restaurant came after repeated closings this year due to mandated business restrictions.
Most recently K-Paul’s has been closed since May, precipitating the couple’s tough call to turn the last page on the renowned dining spot.
“We have been blessed and honored to serve our customers who have become family through shared stories, breaking bread with jalapeno cheddar yeast rolls and raised martini glasses,” said Prudhomme. “We will also treasure the memories of all of our amazing staff members over the years, knowing that they will carry a piece of K-Paul’s with them for the rest of their careers.”
Originally constructed in 1864, the building that housed K-Paul’s was extensively refurbished in 1996, based on the designs of the original structure.
The renovation expanded seating to its current capacity of over 200 guests. Rich Stone, CCIM, of New Orleans-based NAI Latter & Blum has been engaged to market the iconic building for sale.
The K-Paul’s name will not be a part of any sale, as closure plans include retirement of the K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen name.
Chef Paul’s Magic Seasoning Blends, which produces its spice brand and custom blends for clients, is a separate entity and will continue operations from its headquarters in Elmwood, Louisiana, a nearby suburb of New Orleans.
After forty years at K-Paul’s, Prudhomme and Miller acknowledge that the closure of the restaurant will be difficult.
But Brenda Prudhomme said the couple “will look to the future and forever embrace Chef Paul’s ‘Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Loving’ approach to life.”
Photos courtesy Restaurant News