Coast Roast Coffee & Tea opens a stand-alone shop Friday, Oct. 18, at 3618 Magazine St. Coast Roast operates retail outlets in St. Roch Market and Auction House Market and has two locations in Mississippi.
A Friday opening event will feature speakers from a farm in Honduras that supplies Coast Roast with beans. The shop will give away free bags of coffee while supplies last.
Coast Roast offerings vary by location, and the new Magazine Street store will sell coffee and espresso beverages as well as bags of Coast Roast beans. Co-owner Kevin Pedeaux plans to add a frozen granita machine. Coast Roast’s granita will use a cold brew method and raw sugar.
“It’s not a third wave thing to do — and we are a specialty roaster,” Pedeaux says. “We can do a very exotic Indonesian pour-over (coffee with beans) we just roasted a couple of days ago but also some fun drinks that made me fall in love with coffee shops as a kid.”
Pedeaux is turning to connections at his market locations for food. SOLA Deli from the Auction House Market will provide sandwiches and other light options. The shop will offer a variety of pastries and sweets from vendors including Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery.
The shop will have seating indoors and on a front patio. Coast Roast will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Belle Epoque Absinthe Lounge (240 Bourbon St.) opens Oct. 17 behind the Old Absinthe House bar, in the space that housed Tony Moran’s Restaurant until 2016.
Rue Bourbon Hospitality, led by Jober’t Salem and general manager Mourad Habli, owns and operates the Old Absinthe House as well as adjacent event spaces and nearby daiquiri shops.
To create the cocktail lounge, Salem tapped Laura Bellucci to serve as bar director. She honed her skills leading the bar program at SoBou and also worked at Apolline and Booty’s Street Food. Chef Hayley Vanvleet, the opening chef of Curio, will run the kitchen.
The bar occupies part of a building that reportedly dates to 1806. During extensive renovations, the crew found treasures like a guest ledger filled with signatures dating to the late 1800s. Belle Epoque has an antique bar and absinthe fountains — all original to the Old Absinthe House site, though they changed locations and owners more than once. A bill of sale dates the fountains to at least 1863.
In traditional Parisian absinthe service, water was dripped from the fountain over a sugar cube into the absinthe, creating a cloudy effect known as “louche.”
Absinthe, nicknamed the “green fairy,” is a potent liquor with hints of anise and fennel that was banned in the U.S. in 1912 following its ban in many European countries. The spirit was legalized in 2007, and it became popular with cocktail enthusiasts.
Bartender Cayetano Ferrer created the absinthe frappe cocktail at the Old Absinthe House.
Belle Epoque has a full bar and the beverage menu is built around absinthe, with various brands and a cocktail menu.
Vanvleet has crafted a menu of creative French-inspired dishes such as foie gras-stuffed chicken lollipops with truffle aioli; Mississippi Gulf Coast oysters with absinthe mignonette and choupique caviar; and Parisian gnocchi with crab, sweet potato, chilis, mead and herbs. Dishes range from $12 to $20, with a late-night happy hour geared toward service industry workers, featuring plates from $6 to $8.
Belle Epoque will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, with dinner service until midnight and late-night happy hour until 2 a.m. It will be open 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.
Brandy new thing
Rampart Treehouse (740 N. Rampart St., 504-407-3484) opened Oct. 1 in the space that formerly housed the Red Truck Clubhouse. New owner Michelle Healey has maintained a focus on pizza, but she has concocted a new spin on the dish.
“People have flaming shots and other showy things,” Healey says. “I was like, ‘What if we set our pizzas on fire?’”
In the tradition of dishes like Brennan’s bananas Foster, the Flambeaux pizza is flamed tableside. After igniting a lot of pizza, she selected brandy for the job.
“The alcohol completely burns off and leaves a light, sweet, smoky flavor,” Healey says. “I didn’t want to compromise the flavor of the pizza just to add something fun.”
Flaming pizza is available until 9 p.m., and managers may not serve it to rowdy customers, she says.
Rampart Treehouse serves flamed and regular whole pies, and slices are available for takeout. Cut from 20-inch New York-style pies, large slices with cheese are $4; slices with pepperoni cost $5; and there is a daily special slice. Salads and sandwiches round out the menu, and there are vegan items.
The restaurant’s unique decor features work by featured artists and a tree sculpture that appears to grow from the bar. That tree was created for the previous owners by an artist who worked for Mardi Gras World. It has branches from a Mississippi magnolia tree and hand-painted silk flowers.
The tree resonates with Healey because her father, a restaurateur in Ohio, once opened a restaurant in Cleveland with a tree sprouting from the center of its bar. It turned out that the owner of Red Truck visited that restaurant 15 years ago and was inspired by the very same tree.
Before moving to New Orleans two years ago, Healey worked as an environmental scientist and a restaurant inspector in Cleveland.
Healey is encouraging community service through the restaurant. Customers who can verify having completed three hours of community service for any organization in the city will receive a free meal and a drink. Employees also are compensated for community service hours.
Rampart Treehouse is open noon to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and noon to 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Pizza is served until closing. Delivery is available through Uber Eats, Postmates, Waitr and Grubhub.