Blue Crab Restaurant & Oyster Bar (7900 Lakeshore Drive, phone n.a.; www.thebluecrabnola.com) has been in the works since 2011 along the canal connecting West End marinas to Lake Pontchartrain. Blue Crab manager Kent Burgess says it should open in a month.
Chef and manager David DeFelice says Brisbi's Lakefront Restaurant & Bar (7400 Lakeshore Drive, phone n.a.) also is on track to open in a month.
"It will be a casual restaurant with higher points of food and service," DeFelice says. "It's not going to be the same old New Orleans fried and boiled seafood. We'll have five types of fish in the kitchen every day and take a more contemporary approach."
DeFelice is a member of the family that runs Pascal's Manale Restaurant (1838 Napoleon Ave., 504-895-4877), and he says the oyster bar at Brisbi's is modeled after the stand-up bar at that Uptown institution.
"But here, the customer at the oyster bar will be facing a window, so you can look over the shucker's shoulder and right down the main channel where the boats come up," he says.
The restaurant is elevated, like Blue Crab, and will have a covered deck extending from its main dining room and bar. Boaters will be able to tie up at docks below, which lead to a ground level deck where Brisbi's will present live music. Seasonal seafood boils and other events also are part of the program, DeFelice says.
Brisbi's and Blue Crab join Landry's Seafood (800 Lakeshore Drive, 504-283-1010; www.landrysseafood.com), a Houston-based regional chain with a location on the lakefront. Together, they augur a revival of sorts for a part of the city that was once a magnet for family dining along the lake.
"We're glad that Blue Crab will be here too, because the more traffic the better," DeFelice says. "We're just excited to be bringing something back to the lakefront again."