Less than a week after French gastropub Anna's opened in the Marigny, it closed. The restaurant had announced a no-tipping policy and said workers would be paid $15 per hour. Nine employees were not paid at all, including himself, chef Rodney Burns told Gambit June 28.
Christopher Jones, a manager and part-owner of the restaurant, confirmed that the Royal Street bistro closed June 24, one week after it opened. What sparked the sudden shutter isn't clear, but it appears related to a fallout among the owners.
According to Jones, owner Jean Ranguin "disappeared with all the money" when payroll was due at the end of the week of June 19-25 and has since refused to pay the restaurant's employees and the rent due at 1913 Royal St., a space formerly home to ICHI Japanese Ramen House and before that, SukhoThai.
Ranguin and his wife, Catherine, and daughter, Anna (the restaurant's namesake), moved from Paris to New Orleans earlier this year to open the Francophile spot.
"On Friday, (Ranguin) showed back up at the restaurant and said that he doesn't need to pay any of the employees or the rent or the bills," Jones said when reached by phone. "I don't know what's going on. I have no idea."
But Ranguin, when reached by email, disputed those allegations, claiming that it was Jones, and not him, who was "responsible for sinking the business."
Ranguin declined to make further comments before speaking to his attorney.
Jones, who says his stake in the business was managerial and not financial, says he was unable to pay the employees.