The cafeteria line might not spring to mind as a place for culinary inspiration.
But that’s the starting point for a new counter service dining concept now taking shape in Gentilly, one pitching a combination of speed, convenience and fresher, bigger flavors to busy modern families.
Erik Neumann and Robert Faust plan to open the Füd Bar this spring at 1522 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
The Füd Bar will be a combination grab-and-go/dine-in eatery, with a salad bar, wraps and panini and a hot food line. Dishes like roasted chicken, braised lamb, pork loin, stewed shrimp, seared Gulf fish, pastas and sides and vegetables will cycle through the line up. They’re applying for a license to serve beer and wine.
“It’s what you would want to cook at home if you had the ingredients all the time and the know-how and ability,” said Neumann. “We want to have it where you can come in, get something to eat on and have a beer and open the laptop or just grab something and hop back in the car with food for home.”
The restaurant will also be home base for their related prepared foods delivery service, dubbed the Füd Bag, which they plan to begin next week, on March 8.
The Füd Bag concept is intended to give families a variety of main dishes and sides to put full meals on the table or augment their own home cooking through the week, Neumann said. The menu changes weekly and, for now, updates are posted on the brand’s Facebook page.
The Füd Bar location was previously a short-lived local eatery called Go Burger. It’s part of a commercial cluster near the lakefront, and adjacent to the Lake Terrace shopping center, which was itself recently slated for redevelopment. It’s also on the doorstep for some Gentilly neighborhoods that are seeing a rise in young families. Those demographics are part of what guided the Füd Bar plans.
“I think Gentilly is drastically underserved, and there’s really nothing out there like this,” said Faust. “I think the timing could be real good with all the new families moving there now.”
Faust and Neumann are both New Orleans natives who have spent their careers in the local hospitality industry, most recently in consultant and management roles steering a revamp of Mahony’s Po-Boy Shop on Magazine Street.
Just as more young families are moving to Gentilly to start new chapters in their lives, these restaurant veterans hope the Füd Bar model will be their own new start in the business.
“We’re all about food, we’re not about feeding our egos as much as feeding our bellies and our families,” said Neumann.” We’re looking for something more family oriented to do what we love to do and avoid some of the pitfalls of the restaurant lifestyle.”
1522 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
Anticipated opening spring 2016.
The Füd Bag delivery service begins March 8.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.