Two new butcher shops are separately taking shape in the Faubourg Marigny and Lakeview. One is the expansion of a well-established Cajun shop from Baton Rouge, and another is the next step up for a well-known local butcher from the city’s charcuterie circuit.
Chris’ Specialty Meats is slated to open by July 1 at 6521 West End Blvd., in a new building now under construction at the corner of Harrison Avenue.
Rich Graham is opening the store, the first New Orleans offshoot of the Chris’ brand, which has locations in Baton Rouge and Prairieville. The shop got its start in 1994 when the siblings Chris and Twyla Lachaussee opened a store based on traditions from their hometown of Maurice, a Vermilion Parish town famous for its turduckens.
“We’re bringing that Cajun country butcher shop experience,” said Graham. “That’s the niche we’re looking to fill.”
Turducken will be part of the menu at this new Chris’, along with an array of specialty sausages (including its “tiger sausage,” a pork link with a distinct snap to the casing), stuffed meats and smoked meats, steaks and ready-made gumbos and soups, casseroles, dressings and sides to bring home. Hot boudin for grab-and-go snacks will likely be part of the opening menu, while sandwiches and plate lunches could join the rotation later on, Graham said.
The shop will share a roof with Big Easy Pralines & Gifts, a candy store related to the Chris’ Specialty Meats brand.
Meanwhile, Kristopher Doll has more butcher shop plans in the works. This month, Doll opened a stand called the Shank as part of the new St. Roch Market (2381 St. Claude Ave., 504-609-3813; strochmarket.com), selling his hand-crafted meats for retail and as meat plates and sandwiches.
Later this spring, he plans to start a stand-alone butcher shop in a storefront just across St. Claude Avenue. This will initially serve primarily as a production facility, he said, though he may develop it further as a showcase for his products.
Doll was part of the opening crew at Butcher, eventually handled the charcuterie and sausage programs for Adolfo Garcia’s New Orleans restaurants and later was head butcher at the Uptown shop Cleaver & Co.
Market pairings at Pearl
It’s common to see chef Matthew Koplfer at local farmers market. Rather than supplying an upscale restaurant kitchen, however, Kopfler works this market haul into the unusually fresh pub grub at L’Enfant Terrible, the walk-up tavern kitchen he runs inside Molly’s at the Market (1107 Decatur St.).
Now, he’s also cooking in Mid-City, setting up shop recently inside Pearl Wine Co. (3700 Orleans Ave., 504-483-6314; pearlwineco.com).
For this new concept, called Pearl Bistro, he serves a small menu based around panini, salads and soups inside the combination wine shop/wine bar. It’s the expansion of a Thursday evening pop-up Kopfler started at Pearl Wine Co. earlier this year, one scheduled in conjunction with the Crescent City Farmers Market held in the parking lot just outside. He buys his ingredients from the market vendors, then walks them over to Pearl to whip up ultra-fresh — usually vegetarian — small plates. The farmers often pay him a visit inside the store, curious to see how he’s rendered their crops. Kopfler plans to continue that weekly market session (5-7 p.m.) on Thursdays while serving the Pearl Bistro menu daily for lunch and dinner.
Pearl Bistro is part of a larger overhaul of food offerings at Pearl Wine Co., proprietor Leora Madden explained. A small corner bar by the retail wine racks, previously used for wine tastings, will become a cheese and charcuterie counter for platters or retail sales. Look for wine dinners and other collaborative events between the chef and wine shop in the future.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.