Next month, the Historic New Orleans Collection will debut a major new expansion, with more exhibition spaces to tell the city’s story. A new eatery in the museum will also pick up that thread on its menu.

Café Cour is slated to open April 8 at the Historic New Orleans Collection’s new exhibition center at 520 Royal St., across the street from the museum’s original location.

cour courtyard

Cafe Cour is part of the historic Seignouret-Brulatour Building, now an exhibition center for the Historic New Orleans Collection in the French Quarter. 

The café is an offshoot of Carmo. At that Warehouse District restaurant, the chefs Christine and Dana Honn serve a menu of global tropical flavors, spanning from the Pacific Rim to the Gulf of Mexico.

At Café Cour, they’ll serve a casual, morning-through-lunch menu with dishes linked to the city’s culinary progression. A creamy red bean soup from Haiti (sos pwa), a “pre-roux” gumbo linked to the famous dish’s African roots, and akara, or black eye pea fritters, a relative of old New Orleans calas, are all on the opening menu.

So is the muffulettu, an Italian sandwich similar to the muffuletta but filled with tuna and anchovy paste instead of cured meats.

“This is a sandwich that was sold by Sicilians street vendors in the French Quarter at one point, so we’re bringing it back here,” said Dana Honn.

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Dana and Christine Honn owners of Carmo a small Warehouse District restaurant with a fresh approach to tropical flavors.

Coffee and morning pastries, salads and plates of regional charcuterie and seafood charcuterie (shrimp sausage, smoked mackerel, Spanish-style salt-cured tuna) join the list of sandwiches and entrees.

Honn said his aim with Café Cour is to field easy, casual dishes for quick meals that still can tell stories about the city’s history and the many communities that developed it.

“It’s about Louisiana foodways and the deeper cultural connections that come together through it,” said Honn.

The Historic New Orleans Collection’s expansion is a $38 million project that has transformed the Seignouret-Brulatour Building into an exhibition center. In addition to a new, purpose-built rear building, the complex doubles the size of the museum’s public spaces.

Café Cour fronts a courtyard in the center of the complex, with a small indoor dining area and more tables outside.

Admission to the exhibition spaces, and its café, is free.

The café follows the same hours as the museum.

Café Cour

520 Royal St.

Tue.–Sat., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sun., 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Note: opens April 8

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.