While the legendary Brennan’s closing upset many New Orleans locals, the future of the restaurant is up in the air. After the past two months of chaos – in May, the restaurant’s building was purchased via auction and on June 28, the restaurant’s operators were evicted and Brennan’s was officially shuttered – the new owners are seriously considering what the future will hold for 417 Royal Street.
The building dates back to 1795, when it was used as a residence, a bank and an event hall before the Brennan family opened their restaurant in 1954. According to the restaurant's website, the layout could hold 550 guests in total, with 12 dining rooms and a large patio.
Local restaurateur Ralph Brennan, a distant relative of the original Brennan family, bought the restaurant at the auction and became the new owner. His spokesman Greg Beueurman couldn’t say whether or not the property would be a restaurant, but he noted that “the new owners want to make sure [that] what goes in there is a world-class destination worthy of the history of that building.”
While the future of the restaurant is under deliberation, the past employees left in a riot. Many of the cooks, servers and busmen, upon suddenly becoming unemployed, worried whether or not they would receive their last paycheck. Former employee Steven Swanson told NOLA Times that he hasn’t received any compensation for his work during the last week of June, including tips on credit card statements, and another former employee, Katherine Coon said, “they said they have no money to pay us, and they directed us to file for unemployment.”