(1913 Royal St., 504-267-4794), a new French gastropub that doesn’t allow tipping, is now open in the Marigny.
The restaurant from owners Jean and Catherine Ranguin and partner Chris Jones opened quietly Friday, June 17, in the space that housed the short-lived ICHI Japanese Ramen House
and before that, SukhoThai.
The Ranguins are originally from Paris, and the restaurant is named after their 15-year-old daughter. While diners can try to leave tips at the new spot, the owners will do what they can to stop them.
“I wanted to be able to pay my employees a livable wage,” Jones says of the restaurant's no tipping policy. Server’s at Anna’s make $15 an hour to start and receive full benefits, he says.
“It’s just not possible to survive on less than minimum wage and we felt this was a more fair way to treat our staff. I saw how it was being done in New York and L.A., and I really wanted to try that here," Jones said.
The no-tipping wave has been spreading in restaurants across the country. Acclaimed restaurateur Danny Meyer pioneered the movement in the New York City, where his restaurants have all adopted a no-tipping policy, something that comes hand-in-hand with a correlating price jump on menus.
So, are prices steep at Anna’s? It’s hard to say so early on, but at first glance the menu reads like any number of mid-range restaurants in the city, with starters falling in the $10-$14 range and entrees hovering around $25.
The Francophile menu includes classic bistro fare with Creole touches. There’s French onion soup, kale salad topped with strawberries and goat cheese dressed with balsamic, a shrimp po-boy dressed with saffron mayonnaise sauce, seared chicken breast served with sauteed vegetables, black garlic mashed potatoes and lemon-butter sauce, and creme brulee for dessert.
The restaurant has applied for a liquor license (something which both of the previous owners had difficulty obtaining) and in the meantime, it’s BYOB. French soda made with heavy cream, sparkling water and fresh strawberry-infused syrup is almost worth skipping the booze.
Anna’s is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and will open for brunch at 8 a.m. Fridays through Sundays.
*Update: According to a disclaimer on the restaurant's website, Anna's is temporarily closed.