“More breakfast places” is a constant request around New Orleans, and one that spurred Jennifer and Erich Weishaupt to get into the restaurant business post-Katrina with a breakfast//lunch/brunch concept. This week, the couple opened the third edition of their Ruby Slipper Café (2001 Burgundy St., 525-9355), this time in a historic former bank building in the Marigny triangle.
This new Ruby Slipper follows the same script as the others, with a similar menu of diner-style breakfast and lunch dishes punched up with local seafood, fresh produce and some creative specials. At the new restaurant, they’re now baking bagels and challah bread in-house while cocktails and mimosas flow from a large, Art Deco-styled bar.
Large booths and lots of recycled lumber make what had been a rather cavernous space feel warmer now, while vintage bank teller windows have been fashioned into walls for a separate dining area. Erich Weishaupt says they added that area to accommodate breakfast meetings, bridal showers and similar event requests they get at their other restaurants.
The building has a long history. It was originally built in the 1920s as a branch of the Canal Commercial Trust and Savings Bank, a company formed in 1831 to finance construction of the New Basin Canal, one of the city’s long-since-filled waterways. It was later used as a doctor’s office, the local baker’s union hall and as an events venue. In 2004, entrepreneur Alex Kelly turned it into his Bank Café, an upscale contemporary Creole restaurant. Daniel Esses, now co-owner of the Three Muses, was chef at that restaurant, which closed in 2006. The property had been empty since.
The Weishaupts opened their first Ruby Slipper (139 S. Cortez St., 309-5531) on a Mid-City side street in 2008, converting what had been a rundown corner store into a neighborhood hot spot. In late 2010 they opened a second, and much-larger, Ruby Slipper (200 Magazine St., 525-9355), this time in the Central Business District, which draws a large crowd of hotel guests and downtown office workers.
This Marigny edition of the Ruby Slipper serves breakfast and lunch Thursday through Monday for now, with an additional day of service planned for the future (though it will be closed next Thursday for Thanksgiving).
Ruby Slipper Café
2001 Burgundy St., 525-9355