by Ian McNulty
One of the restaurant returns we were happy to see in 2008 didn't quite make it to the end of the year.
The historic French Quarter restaurant Café Sbisa, reopened in October by a new owner for the first time since Katrina, has closed again.
A spokeswoman for chef Glen Hogh, who reopened Sbisa, says he was sub-leasing the property from other owners, and that these owners recently decided they were no longer interested in running the restaurant.
"Glen is currently talking with the building owner, and his hope is that they will be able to work things out so that the restaurant will once again operate," says spokeswoman Cheryl Lemoine.
We had a very enjoyable meal at Sbisa a few weeks ago. The food, like the soft shell crab with crisp Brabant potatoes pictured below, was quite good, the prices were refreshingly mid-range (with most entrees under $20) and the atmosphere was classic old French Quarter, with many different dining areas, beautiful woodwork and forgiving lighting.
Café Sbisa first opened in 1899 and for many years was part of the bustling French Market scene. It had several different incarnations over the generations that followed, and closed for a period in the 1970s. Hogh is also chef and owner of Vega Tapas Café.
-- Ian McNulty