Chef Alon Shaya to open Saba in Kenton's space

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Kenton's restaurant will close on Mar. 18. Alon Shaya will take over the space and open his new Israeli restaurant Saba there this spring. - COURTESY KENTON'S/FACEBOOK
  • COURTESY KENTON'S/FACEBOOK
  • Kenton's restaurant will close on Mar. 18. Alon Shaya will take over the space and open his new Israeli restaurant Saba there this spring.

Alon Shaya will open his new restaurant Saba in the space currently occupied by Kenton’s (5757 Magazine St.), which will close later this month.

The news comes less than a week after Shaya announced plans to open his new modern Israeli restaurant, Saba, in Uptown. On Thursday, Kenton’s owners Sean Josephs and Mani Dawes announced in an email they will close their upscale eatery on Mar. 18.

“We have been extremely fortunate to open a New Orleans restaurant that received great critical acclaim and to also feel so welcomed and embraced by the local community, in a town we call home,” the couple wrote. “In spite of that success, we have not reached our financial ambitions and expectations.”

Shaya left the acclaimed Israeli restaurant bearing his name last fall amid a contentious split with the Besh Restaurant Group. Shortly after leaving the Magazine Street restaurant, Shaya launched Pomegranate Hospitality and tapped James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef award-winner Zachary Engel as culinary director. He has taken over the lease for the Kenton’s space and will open Saba this spring.

Josephs and Dawes live in New Orleans and also run the restaurants Maysville and Tia Pol in New York. They opened Kenton’s in fall 2015, and it served a refined menu of elevated Southern fare and offered a wide selection of bourbons. Josephs said Dawes will continue to oversee the couple's New York restaurants while he focuses on the Pinhook Bourbon brand, in which he is a partner.

In the restaurant’s final days, it will offer a limited menu.

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