by Kevin Allman
As Ian McNulty reported earlier today, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre has completed the sale of part of its property to Dickie Brennan & Co., which plans to open a restaurant on the building's corner at Chartres and St. Peter streets. (Gambit reported last June the deal was for 60 percent of the historic theater's space, for which the Brennan group paid $3 million.) While the restaurant's name hasn't been officially announced, the Brennan investors quietly registered the trade name "Tableau" with the Louisiana secretary of state back in October — a more euphonious monicker than the one detractors of the deal came up with last year: Le Petit Filet.
But it was a state filing made just before New Year's that will grab some attention — the incorporation of a nonprofit entity called the Le Petit Theatre Condominium Association, Inc.
Condos? Residential condos? In the theater-restaurant space? No, according to Steve Pettus, managing partner of Dickie Brennan & Co., who is one of the five officers listed on the incorporation papers (the others being brother and sister restaurateurs Dickie Brennan and Lauren Brennan Brower, along with Le Petit Theatre board of directors members Cassie Steck Worley and Leon Contavesprie),
"Oh, no, no!" said Pettus this afternoon, when asked if the incorporation meant residential condominiums might be in the works for the space. "The theater and the restaurant share common walls and some common property. It was just the most expedient way to do it," he said, adding that the only two properties in this particular condominium were the businesses: Unit R (the restaurant) and Unit T (the theater). The plans for a 19th-century-styled, theater-themed restaurant (sharing Le Petit's courtyard and newly constructed bathrooms), Pettus said, remain the same as they were when the deal was announced amidst much drama in mid-2011.
Now the sale is complete, renovations will begin soon; the plan is to open the restaurant sometime in 2012, with Le Petit once again resuming productions in the fall.