Wednesday, December 9, 2009
SIGN O' THE TIMES
FROM TOM FITZMORRIS' NEW ORLEANS MENU:
"New Owner Is Outside Family
Galatoire's Is Sold
Yesterday, after some legal wrangling and bargaining during the past year or so, the majority ownership of Galatoire's was bought by Todd Trosclair. That marks the first time someone outside the Galatoire family controlled the iconic property. Here are the details in a press release I received this morning:
Galatoire family members Leon Galatoire, Michele Galatoire, Duane Galatoire Attaway, Ashley Attaway and Craighten Attaway have partnered with local businessman Todd Trosclair, to purchase Galatoire's Restaurant in New Orleans and Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. The acquisition was completed on Dec. 8, 2009.
"This is good news for our family, our company and our patrons," said Duane Galatoire Attaway. "With this acquisition, we enter a new era that ensures the many Galatoire's traditions started over 100 years ago by Jean Galatoire will continue through my generation and my children's, Ashley and Craighten, the fifth generation of Galatoires."
"My sister, Michele, and I are very excited about this announcement," said Leon Galatoire. "This is truly a milestone in the history of our restaurant, and we welcome Todd into our family."
Galatoire family member David Gooch will remain part of the restaurant's management team. Melvin Rodrigue, chief operating officer of Galatoire's Restaurant and Galatoire's Bistro, and Executive Chef Brian Landry will continue to oversee the daily management of both Galatoire's locations. No staff or menu changes are planned at either restaurant.
"We want our patrons to know they will continue to experience Galatoire's as they always have," Trosclair said. "Our focus on tradition and quality of food and service will remain, preserving the Galatoire's that has been revered for nearly 105 years."
What the release doesn't say is that there's been a competition between two groups to buy the restaurant for the past year. The negotiations were complicated by the fact that one faction of the family--led by Leon Galatoire--had the right of first refusal if any sale of the resteaurant were made. But the offer to buy was made by David Gooch and Melvin Rodrigue. So began the process that ended yesterday.
"No staff or menu changes are planned at either restaurant." We'll see about that. New owners always say stuff like that.
The story broke yesterday afternoon on my radio show, when one of the attorneys involved called in with the news."