Cure crew to open new lounge on Lee Circle



The local craft cocktail trailblazers behind Cure have a new venture in the works.

Neal Bodenheimer, Kirk Estopinal and Matthew Kohnke, partners in the Freret Street cocktail destination, plan to open another bar called Bellocq as part of the new Hotel Modern, which is replacing the former Hotel Le Cirque on Lee Circle.

As the Times-Picayune reported earlier, this newly remodeled, 135-room hotel will also feature a restaurant from chef Dominique Macquet, of Dominique’s on Magazine. Called Tamarind by Dominique, its cuisine will revolve around French and Vietnamese flavors.

New York-based hotelier Klaus Ortlieb began the redevelopment of the Hotel Modern this summer, and the hotel, restaurant and lounge are slated to open sometime around Thanksgiving.

Bellocq is named after the early New Orleans photographer E.J. Bellocq of Storyville fame. Don’t expect a carbon copy of Cure, but rather a different concept with a “Moulin Rouge, Vaudeville look,” explains hotel spokeswoman Lauren Lagarde.

“It’s a step in a different direction than Cure,” she says.

They’re not saying much for now about what sort of drinks the lounge will serve beyond a theme of “pre-Prohibition” concoctions. That would be in step with a rising trend among some craft cocktail enthusiasts, who are digging increasingly deeper into history for inspiration in their mixed drinks.

Meanwhile, for a preview of what to expect from Tamarind by Dominique, check out the restaurant's Facebook page for photos and descriptions of a few pretty elaborate dishes.

Hotel Modern
936 St. Charles Ave., phone n.a.

4905 Freret St., 302-2357

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