The owners of fine-dining restaurant Commander’s Palace have partnered with those of Reginelli’s Pizzeria to expand the casual-Italian eatery beyond their shared hometown of New Orleans.
Their first co-owned unit, Reginelli’s ninth unit in total, opened in Baton Rouge, La., last month. The new partners said they are now shopping for locations in Houston.
“This is the type of thing we have wanted to do for years, and to find it with someone that we knew of and the culture of excellence that so matched ours gives a great foundation for solid growth,” said Ti Adelaide Martin, co-owner of Commander’s Palace.
Bruce Reginelli, who founded the first namesake restaurant with partner Bruce Erhardt in 1996, said they are looking for 3,000-square-foot sites to accommodate the broad, table-service menu of pizza, pastas, sandwiches and salads. The original eight New Orleans Reginelli’s units are not part of this expansion deal, they said.
Martin said the Commander’s Palace owners — which include herself, Alex Brennan-Martin, Brad Brennan, Arlene Nesser and Joe Henican — had been looking for a casual-dining concept in which to invest and grow. Reginelli said he was looking for partners when he ran into Ella Brennan, Martin’s mother, in an office building.
“I ran into Miss Ella in the elevator after coming out of an appointment, and we just chatted,” Reginelli recalled in a phone interview last week. “She asked if my ears had been burning, because she and her family had just been talking about how Reginelli’s had grown. That’s a great compliment to be talking to Ti’s mother and know they were speaking of us.”